The Averitt Center, home of the Emma Kelly Theater, is operated by the Statesboro Arts Council. The center was created to provide a venue for community arts activities and performances while serving as a centerpiece for a vibrant historic downtown.
The two buildings making up the David H. Averitt Center for the Arts are a unique combination of two downtown Statesboro historic landmarks.
The Bank of Statesboro was chartered in 1891 and formally opened its doors in 1895. Bulloch County’s first bank survived many hurdles in it’s 37 year run. Relocating for the third time in 1911, the Bank of Statesboro moved to 33 East Main Street and continued serving the community until the stock market crash of 1929, and forever closed its doors in December of 1932. Although the Bank of Statesboro never reopened, the building was utilized in many different capacities until the City of Statesboro bought it in 1997 to house the David H. Averitt Center for the Arts.
The Georgia Theater was built as a “motion picture theater” and opened for business in 1936. Featuring modern conveniences such as steam heat and a coffee shop in the lobby, the Georgia Theater was also one of the first air-conditioned public buildings in Statesboro. Entertaining audiences for close to 50 years, the theater closed in the 1980’s. Named after a Statesboro musical legend, this building is known as the Emma Kelly Theater.
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