Downtown Fort Valley National Register Historic District
The Austin has an interesting history. It was built as a dry goods store around the turn of the last century. George H. Slappey added the second floor auditorium after he purchased it in 1915. Upon Mr. Slappey’s death in 1934, the theater was sold to the Martin-Thompson chain and its named was changed to the Peach Theater. The Peach went out of business in 1968 and after years of general disrepair and disuse, the county supported its renovation in 1999. It’s used for local cultural events and has been rechristened the Austin, though it doesn’t have seats or a screen anymore. While I think it’s wonderful that they did such a great restoration of the exterior, it seems unfortunate that it’s not a theater anymore, in the truest sense of the word.