Clio Logo

Construction began on the Miller Theater in 1938 and was designed to accommodate Augusta's growing population. Frank Miller, the building's owner commissioned Architect Roy Benjamin, who was based in Jacksonville, to design the theater. The Miller was rendered in the Art Moderne-style and featured Italian Marble terrazzo, black walnut millwork, and a performance stage adorned with fluted columns and hand-painted panels. The theater seated approximately 1,550 patrons and was the second-largest theater in Georgia at the time of its construction. Construction cost Miller approximately $500 thousand.


  • Facade of Miller Theatre C. 1950
  • Ad for Premier Show
  • Ad of Congratulations from a colleague of Miller
  • Artist's Rendering of Miller Interior
  • Box Office of Miller
  • Facade of Miller Theatre C. 2018

The Miller Theater formally opened on Feb. 26, 1940 8:30 PM with seats costing 75 cents. More that 2,200 people crowded into the art moderne theater and Frank Miller Sr, the owner of a number of Augusta's theaters, was brought to the stage through audience demand and welcomed with a thunderous roar.

Less than half a century following its grand opening, the Miller closed 1985 due to an overall decrease in interest of the theater space due to its state of disrepair. In 1985, 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 Augusta businessman and philanthropist Peter Knox IV purchased the building, installed a new roof, and made all dire reparations. In 2008, Mr. Knox offered the Miller Theater to Symphony Orchestra Augusta as a home performing venue, and in 2016, renovation began on the theater. The renovation project for the theater spanned more than seven years and cost nearly $25 million.

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/.