Garden Theater in Charleston in Danger
CHARLESTON, SC — A few dozen people gathered on Monday night, April 26, to discuss a strategy for saving the Garden Theater as a theater. It was recently sold to a group of investors who plan to lease it to a national clothing chain. Many said converting the theater to retail space would be a loss for the city.
Jonathan Poston of the Historic Charleston Foundation said that would be “a perfect example of the mall-ization of King Street. If Charleston wants a theater on King Street that is still a theater… the community has to come up with the money.”
The current owners paid more than $1.6 million and it is not known if they are interested in selling the theater. Some at the meeting suggested convincing the new owners to retain the interior details so a future restoration might be possible. All attending said that something needs to be done.
“The question is: Can we translate this interest into something tangible.” said Ralph Hicks, a member of the League of Historic American Theaters. A second meeting is planned for May 17.