The Atlas Theater was originally built in 1938 and opened with the film "Love Finds Andy Hardy" starring Mickey Rooney.
By the late 1960s, the theatre was starting to struggle as nearby residents and businesses abandoned the city from suburban life. Many buildings along H Street NE and the surrounding area were destroyed by fire during the riots that followed the assignation of Martin Luther King Jr in 1968. The Atlas survived but finally closed in 1976.
The district fell in decline over the next couple of decades becoming a haven for drug users. Crime was rife.
The Atlas Performing Arts Center purchased the boarded up, graffiti riddled theater in 2001 with the aim to create an arts center. The city got on board in 2003 with the establishment of the H Street Overlay defining an Arts and Entertainment district centred around the Atlas.
The Atlas has served as a catalyst for the rejuvenation of H Street NE and the Joy of Motion Dance Center opened a three-studio location within the Atlas Performing Arts Center in March 2005 further enhancing the facilities of the area.
MELBOURNE ART DECO
In 2009 Robin Grow published a book on Melbourne Art Deco, with images largely supplied by David Thompson. The book quickly sold out and he is pleased to say that it has now been re-published by Brolga Press, with updates, errors corrected and a new cover.
Best of all, it is selling for about $25 in the shops and on-line. Art Deco & Modernism Society members can purchase a copy from me for $22, (includes postage within Australia). For overseas orders please email for postage rates. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested, and advise if you would like the book to be dedicated and/or signed.