Downtown Savannah ’s main shopping district for most of the 20th century, Broughton Street once dazzled shoppers with decorated gaslights, ornate window displays, and fine examples of terrazzo, a form of mosaic that still adorns many shop entrances.
Postwar suburbs and white flight brought neglect to the area by the 1960s, and many thought Broughton was gone for good. But with the downtown renaissance brought about largely by the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Broughton was able not only to get back on its feet but to thrive as a commercial center once again.
Around the corner from the Lucas Theatre on Reynolds Square  is the art moderne Trustees Theatre (216 E. Broughton St., 912/525-5051, www.scad.edu ), a SCAD-run operation that seats 1,200 and hosts concerts, film screenings, and the school’s much-anticipated spring fashion show.
It began life in the postwar boom of 1946 as the Weis Theatre, another one of those ornate Southern movie houses that took full commercial advantage of being the only buildings at the time to have air conditioning. But by the end of the ’70s it followed the fate of Broughton Street, laying dormant and neglected until its purchase and renovation by SCAD in 1989.
This block of Broughton in front of Trustees Theatre is usually blocked off to mark the gala opening of the Savannah Film Festival  each fall. Searchlights criss-cross the sky, limos idle in wait, and Hollywood guests strike poses for the photographers.
Across the street is SCAD’s Jen Library (201 E. Broughton St.), a state-of-the-art facility set in the circa-1890 Levy and Maas Brothers department stores.
An important piece of Broughton Street history happened further west at its intersection with Whitaker Street. Tondee’s Tavern was where the infamous “Liberty Boys” met over ale and planned Savannah ’s role in the American Revolution. Only a plaque marks the site’s contribution to Savannah’s colonial history.