Named for Georgia Governor Eugene Talmadge, I’ve not been able to locate an exact opening date, but I know it was operating as early as 1951. In an earlier post, Janice Green Scruggs recalled: “The Gene Theatre was “the” place for everything going on in McRae back in the late ’50 and early ’60′s. All the kids/teenagers had to make their weekend showing there no matter what was showing. You didn’t go for the movie, you went to be seen and socialize, to meet boys/girls and have something to do on Saturday…it was great times, wonderful memories.”
Jack Dominey noted that “The Gene was a segregated theater by custom if not formal enforcement all the way up until the late 1970s.” I was a only slightly surprised by this, but it’s an interesting historical note.
For a great vintage image: