Friday, April 22, 2011


         Scarlett and Rhett Greeted Fans Here

By Doc Lawrence

ATLANTA– Dance events inspired by Arthur Murray, a tribute to “Gone With the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell, Atlanta’s largest book club, and a salute to famed rock impresario Alex Cooley are planned events commemorating memorable milestones from this city’s Georgian Terrace Hotel’s first 100 years.
The year-long anniversary celebration for 2011 kicked off with a VIP luncheon at the hotel. Retired journalist Joseph Gatins, whose family built the hotel and owned it for decades and who spent his childhood living in the hotel with his family spoke to civic and media guests detailing his family history and recollections of the hotel in his book entitled “We Were Dancing on a Volcano.”
Opened in 1911, the Georgian Terrace helped establish Atlanta as the birthplace of the New South, and a destination for travelers worldwide. New York architect William L. Stoddart designed the 10-story, butter-colored brick structure in French Renaissance style with turreted corners, one-story Palladian windows, white marble columns, elliptical staircases and Italian tiled floors. It was hailed as the city’s “Paris hotel” and marked Atlanta’s growing sophistication.

Clark Gable Greets Fans At Georgian Terrace
The Georgian Terrace’s long relationship with the “Fabulous” Fox Theatre across fabled Peachtree Street bonds its deep ties to the performing arts.  In yesteryear, such superstars as opera legend Enrico Caruso, Hollywood legends Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Leslie Howard and Tallulah Bankhead, plus President Calvin Coolidge, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Enrico Caruso and legendary actor Clark Gable enjoyed its grace and convenient location. Today, any number of celebrities like George Clooney and Betty White can be seen in the lobby and gourmet restaurant.
On December 15, 1939, the Georgian Terrace ballroom hosted the reception after the first showing of the movie “Gone With the Wind,” attended by the foremost celebrities of the day: Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Vivian Leigh, Laurence Olivier, Olivia de Havilland, Claudette Colbert, Victor Fleming, Louis B. Mayer and David O. Selznick.
The Georgian Terrace is inviting the many Atlantans who to celebrate those milestones and become a part of its next 100 years. Monthly events will begin in May with ballroom dance parties. This summer, the hotel will host a reception for the VIP premiere of the Georgia Public Broadcasting documentary: “Margaret Mitchell-American Rebel.” Plans are under way for a private all-star tribute to rock impresario Alex Cooley in July. Arthur Murray dancers from throughout the U.S. will gather at the Georgian Terrace August 4-6 for a ballroom dance homage to the man who ignited the ballroom movement in America here while attending nearby Georgia Tech. In September, “Atlanta’s Largest Book Club” will hear a reading and discuss Joseph Gatins’ memoir. Finally, in October, the Georgian Terrace will invite 100 of Atlanta’s most influential business and civic leaders to a black-tie gala that will mark the end of the historic first 100 years and kick off the next 100 in style.
The elegant Georgian Terrace has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1986.

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