TUSCALOOSA, AL/USA - JUNE 6, 2018: Publix grocery store exterior and logo. Publix Super Markets, Inc. is a American supermarket chain.
The Old Movie Theater Chain That Inspired The Name For Publix
By Cynthia Anaya
In 1930, a man named George Jenkins opened the first Publix grocery store in Winter Haven, Florida. Today, you'll find more than 1,300 Publix grocery stores throughout the United States, but before Jenkins' shops started multiplying, the Publix name belonged to a luxurious movie theater chain called Publix Theatres Corporation.
Publix Theatres Corporation, an affiliate of Paramount Studios, had 19 locations in Florida before the Great Depression forced the theater to permanently shut its doors. When Jenkins visited a Publix theater for the first time, he fell in love with the name, saying of them, “Most of (the theaters) were closing up, and I liked the sound of the name, so I just took it for my store."
Jenkins opened his first two Publix locations in 1930 and 1935 under the name Publix Food Store, but he closed them a few years later. He then opened Publix Super Market in November 1940, and just as the Publix movie theaters featured palace-like amenities, Jenkins' terrazzo-tiled supermarket was built with its own Art Moderne frills.