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Elco Theatre - Charleston, SC

Elco Theatre
549 King Street
Opened: 1913
Closed: 1931

Handbill for the 1920 movie "Out of the Dust"
stamped with "Elco"indicating it would be shown
on Friday and Saturday.
Image from Mr. Brian Petit, grandson of Mr. A.W. Petit


The Charleston Evening Post
February 11, 1915


News & Courier - 1915

The Elco was purchased by Mr. Basil Kerr, who continued to operate it until 1931, when he purchased the former Milo Theatre at 566 King Street.

Mr. A.W. Petit

Mr. Arthur Washington Petit was born on September 15, 1862. He owned a dry goods store at 549 King Street and a toy store at 522 King Street.

Mr. Petit was a city alderman from 1899 to 1911. During that time, he served on the committee for the South Carolina Interstate and West Indian Exposition, which was held in Charleston from December 1, 1901 to June 20, 1902.

The principal purpose of this exposition was to promote more intimate commercial relations between the United States and the seventy principal West Indian Islands.

In 1913, Mr. Petit opened the Elco Theatre in his former dry goods store at 549 King Street. He and his family lived above the theatre. He was one of the pioneers in bringing serial moving pictures to Charleston.

Mr. Petit also served on the committee for the christening of the cruiser U.S.S. Charleston (C-22). This cruiser served in South America, the Pacific, and the Far East.

On America's entry into World War I, in 1917, the U.S.S. Charleston joined the escort of the convoy carrying the first troops of the American Expeditionary Force to France, In 1918 she made two convoy escort voyages to Nova Scotia and five voyages to France carrying occupation troops overseas and returning with combat veterans.

Mr. Petit was well known and highly regarded by the citizens of Charleston. He died on January 15, 1934.


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