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Construction began on the Miller Theater in 1938, which was designed to accommodate Augusta's growing population. Frank Miller, the building's owner, commissioned the Jacksonville-based architect, Roy Benjamin, to design the theater.

The Miller is rendered in the Art Moderne style, features Italian Marble terrazzo, black walnut millwork, and a performance stage adorned with fluted columns and hand-painted panels. The theater seats approximately 1,550 patrons and was the second-largest theater in Georgia at the time of its construction, which cost approximately $500 thousand.


Facade of Miller Theatre C. 1950

Facade of Miller Theatre C. 1950

Ad for Premier Show

Ad for Premier Show

Ad of Congratulations from a colleague of Miller

Ad of Congratulations from a colleague of Miller

Artist's Rendering of Miller Interior

Artist's Rendering of Miller Interior

Box Office of Miller

Box Office of Miller

Facade of Miller Theatre C. 2018

Facade of Miller Theatre C. 2018

The Miller Theater formally opened on Feb. 26, 1940, at 8:30 PM, with 75 cents general admission. More than 2,200 people crowded into the art moderne theater, and Frank Miller himself was brought to the stage, by demand of the crowd, and welcomed with a thunderous roar.

Less than half a century following its grand opening, the Miller closed in 1985 due to structural neglect and lacking general interest from the public. Months before the theatre's closing, a prominent ballet company vacated the Miller, and when asked why, they responded "The Imperial is [a] much better space for the audience." 

The building sat vacant until 2005 when businessman and philanthropist Peter Knox IV purchased the building, installed a new roof, and made all the proper repairs. In 2008, Mr. Knox offered the Miller Theater to the Symphony Orchestra of Augusta as a home performing venue. In 2016, a $25 million, seven-year renovation project began on the theater.

The theater today serves the people of Augusta as it did nearly a century ago.

Hays, Kim. “Ballet Begins 15th Season with Traditional Nutcracker.” Augusta Chronicle, 24 Nov. 1985.

“Miller Story.” Miller Theater Augusta, 2018, millertheateraugusta.com/miller-story/.

“New Glass Brick Used In Theatre.” Augusta Chronicle, 25 Feb. 1940.

“Time Machine .” Augusta Chronicle, 26 Feb. 2019.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Spirit, written by Metro. “The Miller: A History.” Metro Spirit, 14 Aug. 2019, metrospirit.com/miller-really-time/.

Augusta Chronicle, 25 Feb. 1940.

Augusta Chronicle, 25 Feb. 1940.

“Time Machine .” Augusta Chronicle, 26 Feb. 2019.

“Miller Theater.” AIA Georgia, 2019, www.aiaga.org/design-award/miller-theater/.

Miller Theater, www.visitaugusta.com/things-to-do/music-nightlife/the-miller-theater/.