Georgian Terrace to celebrate centennial with gala, ballroom dancing, VIP screenings

At a media luncheon Wednesday, Georgian Terrace executives unveiled a series of events slated to celebrate the centennial of the iconic Midtown hotel’s arrival in Atlanta.
“The Georgian Terrace remains a landmark in a city that loves to tear things down,” noted retired newspaper man Joseph Gatins, whose family broke ground on the hotel dubbed “Atlanta’s Paris hotel” back in 1910. “In Atlanta, that’s pretty important.” Gatins has written a memoir of his family’s tangled history with the hotel, “We Were Dancing on a Volcano” ($20, The Glade Press). In September, Gatins will host a book-signing and book club meeting at the Georgian Terrace. On Wednesday, he recalled to attendees that there were a few perks associated with owning one of the city’s most famous hotels: “As a child, my tricycle and I had the full run of the hotel lobby.”
In May, the hotel will host a series of ballroom dance parties, an homage to Arthur Murray, who first began offering his soon-to-be-famous dance lessons at the hotel in 1918 as a student at Georgia Tech.
In June, the hotel will host a VIP reception for the world premiere of GPB’s upcoming “Margaret Mitchell: An American Rebel” documentary. Fascinating factoid: In 1935, Mitchell visited the hotel to begrudgingly turn over a hefty manuscript to Macmillan editor Harold Latham who was in the South scouting for new literary voices. Before boarding a train for New York, Latham had to buy an additional suitcase to lug home the mountain of pages that would be published as “Gone With the Wind.”
A musical tribute to veteran rock promoter Alex Cooley is also in the works for later this year. In the 70s, Alex Cooley’s Electric Ballroom was housed inside the Georgian Terrace where Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel played some of their earliest shows.
In October, the hotel will mark the 100th birthday of its October 2, 1911 opening with a VIP gala celebrating the city’s current 100 most influential citizens.