By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (December 15, 2023) – Today’s edition of Fun with Maps celebrates the historic 1939 premier of an iconic film most all of you will recognize.


The epic film, Gone with the Wind, premiered on December 15, 1939 at Loew’s Grand Theater in Atlanta.  Stars Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable and Olivia de Havilland all attended the premiere. 

Having its moment in the spotlight, Atlanta decided to celebrate like it was Hollywood.  The premiere day was actually a state holiday in Georgia.  Almost 300,000 fans crowded the area around the theater to catch a glimpse of the celebrities. For three days leading up to the event, festivities were held.  There was a costumed ball, a parade, and a dinner with a private showing of the film for the stars, the author, the mayor, and other special guests including Confederate veterans.

The film was nationally distributed a month later and went on to win 8 Academy Awards. 

It is one of the 25 films to make up the original group selected for historic preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.  It consistently rates highly in the most popular, significant, and most quotable movies among industry polls.

As much of the movie takes place in or near Atlanta, we are pleased to share this pictorial map of Atlanta set about 80 years after the movie – a promotional pictorial map of Georgia’s capital on behalf of Davison-Paxon Department Stores.  

1940’s Atlanta (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Fun with Maps here on Loveland Beacon.