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Conway, SC
We highly recommend "Heyday of the Movies in Conway" by William T. Goldfinch of Conway for a wonderful first-person account of Conway's movie theatre history. While we were able to locate information on microfilm of the Horry Herald newspaper, much of what we have been able to uncover, came from Mr. Goldfinch's warm narrative.

Casino Theatre
East side of Main Street north of 4th Avenue
Closed around 1916

The first movie theatre in Conway was the Casino Theatre located on Main Street north of 4th Avenue. The original owner and theatre name are not known. It was purchased by Mr. McQueen Quattlebaum who named it the Casino Theatre. The earliest reference we have found is in the Horry County Herald dated April 1, 1915. A very large illustrated advertisement promoted the first episode of The Million Dollar Mystery starring Florence LaBadie and James Cruze. This twenty-three episode serial from the Thanhouser Film Corporation, told the story of a secret society called The Black Hand and its attenpts to gain control of a lost million dollars. Admission was 5 cents and 10 cents.

In June, 1915, the Casino Theatre advertised that a percent of the proceeds would go to the Civic League.

On June 29, 1916, the Casino Theatre advertised to “Watch for the opening installment” of Gloria’s Romance, a 20 episode serial starring Billie Burke as Gloria Stafford. This George Kleine Motion Picture Novel also starred Henry Kolker.

In July, Gloria’s Romance continued with an all feature program. In August, the promotion of Gloria’s Romance continued with a listing of other films to be shown that week at the Casino Theatre.

According to Mr. William T. Goldfinch of Conway, Mr. Quattlebaum closed the Casino Theatre when the Pastime Opened.



Pastime Theatre
409 Main Street
1917 - 1936

The Pastime Theatre was open in November, 1916, showing Gloria’s Romance. It is likely that the serial was begun at the Casino Theatre and concluded at the Pastime Theatre.

We can conclude that the Casino Theatre closed and the Pastime Theatre opened between October 6 and November 22, 1916.

The Pastime Theatre was described by Mr. Goldfinch in a article written for the Horry County Historical Society.

“The front of the building was rather stark, lacking a marquee. Instead, it had a sign in the shape of a “T” which hung out over the sidewalk. It said “THEATRE” in large letters across the top and “PASTIME” vertically beneath.

At the entrance was an inset where the ticket office protruded. To its left was the door to the auditorium. Out on the sidewalk was a door on the right which led to the projection room and balcony.

When the Pastime opened it was said to be a modern playhouse, the equal to any in a town of Conway’s size. It was where the first sound movie played in Conway. A record was utilized to be played while the reel was shown. Coordinating the two was indeed a task. I am told the Pastime was built by H.G. Cushman and managed by his father-in-law, A.B. McCoy.

In May, 1947, my chance to enter the theatre finally came! It was opened in order to tear it down. I had previously dreamed about the interior of the building and to my amazement it looked in minute detail exactly as I had dreamed it would.

Time has dimmed my memory of the details of the interior, but I do recall an ornate stamped metal ceiling, side lights that protruded from each side wall with scalloped frosted shades. The theatre was small and I doubt if it had as many as three hundred seats. Its popcorn machine, which could be seen through the ticket window from the street was still there eleven years after its closing.


Pastime Theatre reopened on May 7, 1930 after renovations for sound movies

Casino Theatre Ad
Casino Theatre Ad from
Horry County Herald

April 1, 1915

Casion Theatre Ad
Casino Theatre Ad from
Horry County Herald

June 17, 1915
Pastime Theatre Ad
Pastime Theatre Ad from
Horry County Herald

April 26, 1917



The Horry Herald - August 6, 1936
Click to Enlarge

 

Ad at left dated September 16, 1937
This describes both a live stage performance and a movie

Click to Enlarge

 

Carolina Theatre
408 Main Street
1936 - 1965

Opened August 6, 1936. "Entrance to the main auditorium of the theatre is from Main Street through a hundred and twenty foot lobby. This lobby is very attractive with its terrazzo floor, stamped metal ceiling, rough textured walls, and latest type of lightening fixtures and display stands. Entrance to the balcony is from Fourth Avenue."

The Carolina had a spacious stage and presented movies and, occassionaly, stage shows.

The Carolina closed briefly in 1952 for renovation and reopened in 1953. Except for a fire that caused its closure for six weeks in 1964, the Carolina Theatre remained in operation until June 15, 1965.

Built by H.G. Cushman, it was first managed by A.B. McCoy. It was sold in 1940, to B.B. Anderson of Mullins, owner of the Anderson Theatre Company. Later the Hollidays of Galivants Ferry acquired an interest in it. In 1958, operation of the Carolina Theatre was taken over by Stewart and Everett Theatres of Charlotte, NC.


Holliday Theatre
335 Main Street

Opened October 1, 1947. According to Mr. Goldfinch, the theatre was built by Joseph W. Holliday and John Monroe J. Holliday of Galivants Ferry as a memorial to their father, George J. Holliday. It had 650 seats, a "cry" room for mothers with small children, and certain seats were said to be larger than others to accommodate more robust patrons.

The Holliday Theatre abruptly closed in 1948 and reopened in 1952. The, it closed again in 1953 and reopened in 1954. Then, in 1955, it closed for ten years. It reopened for eleven months as a second-run theatre.

In 1965, the theatre was completely renovated. By the time it closed, in August, 1986, it had deteriorated. After it closed, it was briefly used as a church. In January, 1990, it was destroyed by fire.

It has since been rebuilt as the Main Street Theatre, home of the reportory group, Theatre of the Republic.


Dance with Me Henry showing at the Holliday Theater - 1957


Holliday Theater - Conway, SC - 1955

Hillside Theatre
Race Path Street near Highway 378

In 1947, the Horry Herald announced the construction of "a theatre for the colored people of Conway." The Hillside Theatre operated off and on until the mid-1950s. It had a plain facade with neon outlining it. There was a sign hanging vertically over the entrance which read, "Hillside Theatre."

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