Frank Hardy Photography

Ga-Ana Theater in Georgiana Alabama …

with 12 comments

The following are  then and now photographs of the Ga-Ana Theater in downtown Georgiana Alabama.  I came across the original photo in a book somewhere and I made the recent photograph several weeks ago when Pam and I drove to Atlanta.  We took Alabama State Highway 31 out of Brewton to Greenville and got on I-65 there.  The Ga-Ana Theater is the first place that Hank Williams made his first public appearance.  We went and toured his home/museum several years ago and I will post some b&w’s I made inside the house in a later post.  Here is a view of the theater from back in the 1940’s:

Note that the car in the middle has a Florida tag starting with a 9 … that means that the car was registered in Escambia County Florida which is Pensacola.  Up until the 1970’s sometime. the first ten counties ranked by population ( Miami was 1 ) were assigned a number … so Escambia County was the 9th largest county in the state of Florida, ranked by population.  The tags on the other cars look to be Alabama license plate, which I know nothing about.  Now the image I made several weeks ago:

You can almost feel the presence of Hiram ” Hank ” Williams leaning up against the light post out front.  I have read several biographies of Hank Williams recently and it is very interesting reading about the music industry during this time in the 1940’s and early 1950’s.  I have a story about my father meeting Hank Williams and making his photograph in Pensacola that I will share with you when I post somethings from his house in Georgiana.  Stay tuned …

Written by Frank Hardy

May 19, 2011 at 8:07 am

12 Responses

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  1. They need to replace the badly tattered American flag on this building !

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    Bigfoot

    February 8, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    • Thanks for the comment and I have looked at the photo, but for the life of me I cannot see an American flag anywhere in this photo. I made this photo years ago and I have not been back through Georgianna Alabama since. Thanks for the comment and if you get a chance, let me know where the flag is in the photo … Frank

      Like

      Frank Hardy

      February 8, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      • I passed by this building today on a Federal train and right above the maim door maybe 15-20′ they have flag holders for the State ( in the middle and highest ) the USA flag to the left and couldn’t tell what flag on the right. All in the worst condition I have ever seen.

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        Bigfoot

        February 8, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      • My grandfather, Fred T. McLendon, owned this theater. I am trying to find out when performances are held here. Cany you help?

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        sally parker

        January 15, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      • Sally … I am from Pensacola and was passing through on the way to Atlanta. I knew that Hank Williams had played there at the beginning of his career. That was the reason that I photographed the building to match the photo that I had found in the book from the 1940’s. Maybe see if there is a Geogiana Chamber of Commerce or something to that effect and they might could help you. Thanks for looking and commenting … wish I could be of more help … Frank

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        Frank Hardy

        January 15, 2014 at 6:56 pm

  2. Does anyone know the owner of the theater, Im working on a book and like to know more history…thanks

    dhigdon1966@yahoo.com

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    David Higdon

    February 10, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    • David … I have no idea who owns or owned the theater. Maybe there is a Georgianna Chamber of Commerce that could tell you more or contact the Hank Williams Museum and they could point you in the right direction. Good luck, it would be interesting to find out more about the place and who else played in that area during the years … Frank

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      Frank Hardy

      February 10, 2013 at 3:37 pm

  3. Mr. J.C. Simms and wife Marylyn of Georgiana, AL.

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    Richard Campbell

    March 5, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    • I guess those were the owners of the GA-ALA Theater? It would be interesting to know if they were around when Hank played. I do not personally know anything about the theater and my interest had to do with Hank Williams being from the area. And when I saw the old photo of the place, I thought that it would be interesting including a present day view. Thanks for commenting and if you have any stories to share or if that couple is still alive and have anything that they want to share, please feel free. Thank for very much for commenting and please check back … Frank

      Like

      Frank Hardy

      March 6, 2014 at 9:49 am

  4. They are the last owners as I know. Mr. J.C. passed away a few years ago and his wife Marylyn is currently the owner. . I’m from Georgiana originally and Hank SR. first cousin was my mother in law. . I never met Hank JR ,but did receive an autographed copy of his picture as a wedding gift. Lol. If you want to know the history of the theater and Hank call her, she is a very nice lady and would enjoy talking to you.

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    Richard Campbell

    March 8, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    • Richard … Thanks for the information and I would enjoy talking to Marilyn. I will give you my cell phone number ( 850-449-1279 ) and she can call me at her convenience. I would hate to bother her and I do not know when is a good time to call. Tell her to please leave a message if I am busy and I will call her back. I would like to share my story with her about my father taking Hank Sr’s photo when he would come to Pensacola and stay at the San Carlos Hotel. Not really a whole lot to tell, but I would enjoy listening to her stories. Thanks for taking the time and having the interest to write on my blog. I have had the pleasure to communicate with a lot of people that I other wise would have not been able to meet. like yourself. Keep in touch … Frank

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      Frank Hardy

      March 12, 2014 at 11:28 am

    • Richard … I responded to this through my blog site. I do not know if it is forwarded to you or not. If you did not get my response, I will forward it to you because I am interested in talking to Marylyn. Let me know. Thanks for writing … Frank

      On Sat, Mar 8, 2014 at 4:04 PM, Frank Hardy Photography wrote:

      >

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      Frank Hardy

      March 12, 2014 at 3:44 pm


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