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The film was shot by my grandfather, who lived with my grandmother in my house on Poplar Circle (where my father grew up) from 1942 until he died in 1993. He would get a real kick out of all this sudden attention. I hope you enjoy the films! — Best, Allison Adams

WP Resident Allison Adams Featured on WXIA 11 Alive News “Vintage Film Depicts 1940s Decatur”

Original airdate and posting: Dec 28, 2013 on by Doug Richards

DECATUR, Ga. — The streetcar and its tracks were fixtures in downtown Decatur for the first half of the twentieth century. Bubber Adams, a radio engineer with a documentarian’s instinct, shot it with his eight millimeter film camera.

“It was 1946,” said his granddaughter, Allison Adams, who lives in her grandfather’s old house south of downtown. “And he had heard – he probably read it in the paper – that the street cars were going to be shut down and taken out. So he wanted to capture them for posterity.”

Adams’ family recently unearthed the footage, a rare collection of color movies depicting Decatur in the late 1940s. Adams shot a steam locomotive on the tracks that still bisect the city. A decade later, steam trains would give way to diesel.

“It was several times a day that we could hear the whistle as it approached the crossings,” said Doug Adams, the photographer’s son.

The film also shows a fleeting glimpse of what used to be the Decatur square– which was all but obliterated by the construction of MARTA. The film shows the facade of the Decatur Theatre – which Doug Adams remembers showing double feature cowboy movies on Saturday mornings.

Allison Adams says the theater building is gone now. It was located on McDonough St., in what’s now a parking lot next to the bar called Eddie’s Attic.

The Adams film’s comic high point may be at Winnona Elementary School. That’s where Bubber Adams documented a football game between competing teams of leather-helmet wearing seventh graders, buoyed by a very modestly dressed group of cheerleaders.

Winnona Park Neighborhood Association
PO Box 2294
Decatur, GA 30031-2294

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