Monday, April 26, 2010
DeGive Opera House
Laurance DeGive was born 1828 in Belguim. He and his wife, Pauline and their oldest daughter, Pauline (born 1864), came to America and settled in Georgia after the War Between the States, about 1866. Their first son, Peter, was born 1867, Henry was born 1869 and Julius was born 1871, all in Atlanta. Laurence first built an opera house on Marietta Street and ultimately amassed a fortune. An article in The Atlanta Journal in 1893 referred to him as a gentleman of strong and commendable parts, and of high intelligence and culture. In 1893, he built a new opera house on Peachtree Street, called DeGive's Grand Opera House and furnished it from the retail business of M. Rich and Bros. (later became Rich's Department Store). All of the entrances were heavily draped with gold valour velvet curtains. Royal Wilton carpets trimmed with maroon ground and gold figures were laid in the entraces' the lobby had inlaid marble; and decorate tile graced the spacious vestibule. There were 22 boxes. The first performance given that year was Men and Women. In 1893, Atlanta had 250,000 inhabitants. The opera house was later sold to the Loews Company, who used it for a movie theatre "Loew's Grand Theatre" which became famous for its showing of Gone With The Wind.