On August 5, 1929, the DeSoto Theatre opened its doors to the public, the first theatre built for “talkies” in the south. O.C. Lam, owner of Lam Amusement Company, modeled it after the luxurious Roxy Theatre and equipped it with the most modern conveniences at the time at a cost of over $100,000. “The Rainbow Man” was the first movie shown.
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The DeSoto undergoes it’s first major renovation. It adds the current Art Deco marquee and auditorium wall paintings, plus concessions lounge and bathrooms in the popular Art Deco style.
Rome’s oldest community theatre troupe purchased the DeSoto and converted it into a performance venue equipped with a stage, an orchestra pit, and new seating. RLT’s first play here was “The Sound of Music.”
Rome Little Theatre deeds the DeSoto to the Historic DeSoto Theatre Foundation to preserve and maintain the building.
Atlanta’s Fox Theatre Institute selects the DeSoto to be one of the first theaters in Georgia to receive restoration and revitalization aid, serving as a catalyst for additional renovations.
Before any interior renovations could begin, the DeSoto had already received a new roof. The facade and the outside lobby followed the interior vestibule’s renovation, with the outside lobby going back to it’s original rich colors and the facade to…
Lighning strikes a post in the back of the DeSoto, causing an electrical fire that could have engulfed the building.
Over $350,000 project renovates auditorium with historically-accurate seats for 500, adds marble bathrooms, travertine-floor lounge and concessions area, Art Deco period fixtures, custom-made burgundy carpet. The Jewel of Broad Street is reborn.
HDTF signs 10-year lease with 7 Hills Fellowship to continue Sunday morning services at the DeSoto, as it had done during the previous five years. & Hills Fellowship also invested over $700,000 purchasing the building adjacent to the DeSoto for…
A concessions counter in the Art-Deco style and a catering kitchen were added, to be used for events and community rentals.
Electrical fire in decayed conduit damages all wiring in brand-new concessions lounge.
A sold-out crowd welcomes Rome’s own diva back to the DeSoto for a world-class performance the evening after she opens the season at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.
Custom-made sound panels improve the auditorium’s sound, and fire safety and electrical projects improve the building’s safety.
The Historic DeSoto Theatre Foundation celebrates 10 years of being a champion for the restoration of the DeSoto, the Jewel of Broad Street!