Marina Argenti sent me this shot of the Georgia Auditorium. Notice the neon sign? Many did refer to it as the Denman Auditorium as it was located at Georgia and Denman streets. I hate to disagree with Marina, who claims the photo was taken in 1959, but I think this is a much earlier photo. Notice the late 40s car in the photo. However it could be in 1959 as the theatre has a “For Sale” sign on the side.
This was the last year for the venue. It was torn down and replaced by the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. The site is now a park. I remember emceeing Jazz At The Philharmonic here as an 18-year-old kid and met Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich (they did an incredible “Battle of the Drums”), Lester Young, and other jazz greats who appeared on the bill. In October 1957 I emceed the Show of Stars with Paul Anka, Buddy Holly, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, Buddy Knox, Jimmy Bowen, LaVern Baker, Eddie Cochran and many more.
This auditorium was also where I made my first public appearance as a guest of the Al Jordan show Theme For Teens. Al broadcast “live” from the venue and our special guest was Frankie Laine who came out to talk to the teenagers. He was appearing at the Cave Theatre Restaurant at the time. As Al Jordan was talking on mike I appeared on stage sweeping up behind him, which was an indication that what we were hearing from Al’s lips was BS and it brought forth gales of laughter. This happened on stage in 1953. I was a 16-year-old kid and have never forgotten meeting my first recording artist. It was also my first appearance on a stage of any kind. Oh, the memories of simpler times.