Wilmot Green

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Wilmot Greene, owner of the Georgia Theatre, speaks to students in UGA’s music business program in December.

Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker

“It was during the 2004 AthFest music festival that I ran into William ‘Duck’ Anderson outside the Georgia Theatre. He was the owner of the theater and I knew him well from years of playing there in my college band.

I had since moved to Charlotte and was working as a cartographer. Duck looked particularly stressed that evening, so I asked him what was wrong. His response was that he was too old to own a music venue anymore. I offered to ‘solve all his problems’ and we retreated to his office to discuss the potential of him really selling the place.

He liked the idea that I was so connected and familiar with the room. We came to an informal agreement, and I immediately set the plan into action. Just a few months later I had gotten an investor, quit my job, moved back to Athens and was closing the deal.

The place was like a temple to me. I immediately set about renovating the theater and in just five short years had fixed almost everything there was to fix. The place was really looking and smelling great! It was an incredible experience running and renovating the Georgia Theatre. The connection between audience, band, staff and venue was really unbelievable and kind of magical.

I’m doing everything I can to preserve that vibe during this rebuilding process so that generations to come can have that same experience we all had.”

—Wilmot Greene, owner, Georgia Theatre

The Georgia Theater was gutted by fire on June 19, 2009. To contribute to its restoration costs or to get an update on construction, go to http://www.georgiatheater.com