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Anderson, SC

There have been over twenty-five theaters identified in Anderson. Many of these are mentioned in Harry Osteen's video, The History of the Theatres In Anderson, S.C. (Video 24181695, Anderson County Library) We continue to look for information and photographs, as well as stories, on these theaters. What we have collected is on this page. For a list of all the known theaters, go to our List of Theaters.

Carolina Theatre
201 N. Main Street

Carolina Theatre, Anderson, SC

The Carolina Theatre opened in 1932
and closed in 1957.


Criterion Theatre
204 W. Whitner Street
Anderson, SC

The location, 204 W. Whitner Street, was originally the site of the Anderson Theatre from 1915 to 1924. From 1924 to 1931, it was the site of the Garden Theatre. On May 29, 1931, the Criterion Theatre opened at this location. The Criterion closed in 1960 and has been demolished.


Photographs of the demolition of the Criterion Theatre, courtesy Pendleton District Commission, Pendleton, SC

Strand Theatre (1920-1945)
Center Theatre (1946-1955)
126 N. Main Street

The Strand Theatre opened in 1920, at 126 N. Main Street. It showed the first talking picture in Anderson, The Lion and the Mouse. In 1946, it became the Center Theatre. The Center Theatre closed in 1955.

Strand Theatre, Anderson, SC
Courtesy Pendleton District Commission, Pendleton, SC


State Theatre (1939 - 1972)
131 E. Whitner Street

On a trip to Anderson in June, 2003, we met a man who remembered going to the old State Theater when he was young. Identifying himself as Dickie, he said, “We lived just down the street from here. You could get into the State Theater for the admission price of six Coca-Cola bottle caps. Some of my friends would distract the neighborhood grocery store owner while another friend and I tipped the bottle cap container on the drink machine. We always came up with enough caps to get us all into the State Theater for the day.”

The State Theatre in Anderson is now home to the Anderson Community Theatre. The entrance has changed very little.

Reference Materials:

"The History of the Theatres In Anderson, S.C."
by Harry Osteen. Video 24181695, Anderson County Library

Correspondence from Pendleton District Commission, Historical, Recreational, Tourism

"Anderson City Directory - 1938"
Baldwin Directory Company, and Chamber of Commerce and Merchants Association, 1938

"Anderson City Directory - 1952"
Hill Directory Company, 1952

"SCAR 5: Anderson 1935 (Part 1)"
University of South Carolina Newsfilm (Movietonews, etc.) collections

"SCAR 8A: Anderson (Our Gang)"
University of South Carolina Newsfilm (Movietonews, etc.) collections

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