Home | Stories | News | Theaters | Drive-Ins | Profiles | The Authors | Other Books | Links

Check out new photos
on Lake City Memories

We spent 4 days of August on the road. We have made many additions this month.

Lake City , SC - August 12, 2008
We had not been in Lake City since the summer of 2005. At that time, the old Ritz Theater property was a demolition site. We were very excited to see that the theater site is now a beautiful public space. The facade of the Ritz Theater has been restored. As you step off the street through the opening, you find an open exterior public space with a gazebo and picnic table.

Darlington, SC - August 12, 2008
Our destination was Bennettsville, but we stopped in Darlington and walked around the town square to see if we could identify any of the old theater buildings. We met Mr. Allen Thames in front of the drug store and asked him if he recalled the theaters. He pointed to the opposite side of the square and said the Liberty Theater used to be there. He remembered going there before World War II to play bingo and stay for the midnight show. On our way out of town, we spotted a beautiful mural depicting Darlington in the 1930's. The large mural, by Blue Sky, featured the Liberty Theater in the center. Thanks to Kay Williamson of the Darlington County Historical Society, we have a new large web page on the Darlington theaters. Click Here to see it.

Old Darlington Public Square
By artist Blue Sky
Bennettsville, SC - August 12 - 13, 2008
We arrived in Bennettsville in the afternoon. The first old theater building we found was the Lincoln Theater. It is now used for offices. We photographed the building and drove a few blocks and discovered the Marlboro Civic Center. It was a "Wow" moment. The Marlboro Civic Center deserves a featuer article, which we hope to publish in the near future. It opened in 1917 as The Playhouse and served as a stage show and movie house for several decades as the Garden Theatre, The Carolina Theatre, and the Cinema. With the generous help of Karen Lewis, Executive Director of the Center, Frank, an enthusiastic volunteer, and Bill Kinner, Editor and Publisher of the Marlboro Herald-Advocate, we gathered much of the movie theater history of Bennettsville. Much of what we gathered can be see on the Bennettsville page.

Marlboro Civic Center

Barbara Hubbard
Clio's theater now her rose garden

Clio , SC - August 14, 2008
We stopped in the hardware store in Clio to ask if anyone there remembered the old movie theater. We were directed to Mrs. Barbara Hubbard. She did remember the theater. In fact, she and her husband bought it years ago and tore it down to make a yard for their home. Not every old movie theater can or should be saved. It depends on many factors. When saving an old theater is not reasonable, saving its history is the next best thing. Clio also had an old Opera House, which was built around 1910. While the building is still there, its use has changed. If you have a memory of the theater in Clio, please share it with us.

Click Here to see more about the movie theaters in Clio.

McColl, SC - August 14, 2008
In McColl, we found a theater called the Geddie-Cole Center located at 103 N. Main Street. Inside, we could see a ticket booth with a small sign underneath that read "Carolina Theatre." Our camera's flash drive failed so we were unable to get any photographs. The image at the right is an ad from the Marlboro Herald-Advocate in 1951. A 1921 edition of a national movie directory lists the Everybody's Theater in McColl. The 1945 edition of Film Daily Yearbook lists the Carolina Theatre and the McColl Theatre. We would be very grateful for any information, memories, or photographs of the movie theaters of McColl.

Ad for McColl's Carolina Theatre
Click to Enlarge

Cheraw , SC - August 14, 2008
At the Visitor's Center in Cheraw, we met Sarah Spruill, who shared a wealth of information on the Theatre on the Green. This beautiful building was originally the Lyric Theatre, a silent film house which opened Christmas Day in 1920. Over the years the theater changed owners and names. It was known as the Cheraw Theatre and the Cheraw Cinema. In 1988, the building was purchased by the Cheraw Economic Development Corporation. The finest features were saved and restored, including the plaster mouldings and tin ceilings in the foyer and auditorium. Theatre on the Green opened in 1991.

Chesterfield, SC - August 15, 2008
In Chesterfield, we went into a local cafe on Main Street and asked about their local movie theater. One of the older customers looked up and said he remembered it. He pointed to Main Street and said, "It was right across the street." We went into Kevin Lear on Main and spoke to two women who worked there and knew the building had been a movie theater. Only one remembered going to see movies there when she was very young. She thought it closed in the early 1960's. The way the old Chesterfield Theatre has been reused is attractive and creative. The shop occupies the former lobby and part of the former auditorium. The balcony has been transformed into an apartment. A portion of the roof that covered the front of the auditorium is now gone. That portion of the building is an open-air garden with a fountain. It is always a challenge to adapt these old movie houses to contemporary uses. This is a very good example that looks great and brings business activity back to an important location in downtown Chesterfield. Click Here for some interesting memories of the Chesterfield Theatre.

Home | Stories | News | Theaters | Drive-Ins | Profiles | The Authors | Other Books | Links