The Hogansville Royal Theater is one of the true hidden jewels of architecture in Georgia. As you can see from the original 1936 photograph, it was splendid in its heyday, with its’ art deco detailing, its’ ziggurat roof capped with a 30 ft winged spire. The original building was outfitted with neon in the marquee, the inset winged decorative pieces, and the spire. Through the years the building has suffered deterioration and was converted to the City Hall offices in order to save it from the wrecking ball. The City of Hogansville with a modest budget using grant money and donations decided to do what they could to make much needed repairs and restore as much as they could of the original façade. We were given the opportunity to see what could be done. The first order of business was to repair roof leaks around the ziggurat roof. We redid the flashing on the ziggurat and the parapet walls and completely restuccoed the front of the building taking care to accurately reconstruct the original detailing with white portland cement plaster. The marquee which had been replaced with an asphalt shingle roof at some point was rebuilt to the original size and shape, but lack of funds prevented using original materials. The rusted winged pieces and swag railings were cleaned, repainted and reinstalled and the shuttered windows (replaced with double hung windows) were replaced to the original.
It is our hope that restoration will continue in phases to add back other features of the original building such as the signage, the glass casework and doors, the spire and the neon. We also redesigned the interior to restore the lobby to the original design, tuck the city hall offices under the balcony and restore the theater in a smaller fashion so the building could be used for city hall chambers as well as theatrical performances. The city hosts a Hummingbird festival every spring and collects donations for continued restoration efforts.