Columbia Square Cinemas

4020 Washington Road,
Augusta, GA 30907

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Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 13, 2009 at 11:41 pm

You know COLUMBIA TWO played the movie that broke many film producers and If i remember right HEAVEN"S GATE did not do any business here.I did not commit to the three hour movie ,but i do remember sitting down and watching it.It seemed like a David Lean production. HEAVEN"S GATE i believe played only a week.
I Don’t think it even went second run in this town.However, what bit i saw looked beautiful.I guess we were in the STAR WARS era.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 11, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Somehow I forgot our two doormen hired Tom Wedemeire and Chuck Spearman. Tom stayed in the theatre for awhile to help Johnny Arena at the Imperial,Sorry I forgot you guys.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 11, 2009 at 5:55 pm

On opening night we ran out of popcorn,Heck, Tickets were five cents to see NICKLEODEON with the money going to the MARCH OF DIMES.Anyway, i get sent down to the Imperial for the popcorn.When I get back to Columbia 1 and 2 Channel 12 is wrapping up shooting for the 11p.m. news. RATS. I missed getting on TV.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 10, 2009 at 3:45 pm

I know at the time my friend and co-worker,Tommy Capers , asked me about the possible chance of him opening the theatre.Some of us really loved those theatres,even though i always felt Tom would care more about National Hills at least he had a interest in saving it.It was ruined when they added two more screens and i told him so.I passed on some BOXOFFICE magazines i was still getting for Tom to look over, I KNOW had i had the money,National Hills would been restored to the 70MM HOUSE IT WAS. You know TED TURNER bought a six plex in the CNN center in Atlanta and ran GONE WITH THE WIND EVERY DAY! That kind of money.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 10, 2009 at 3:37 pm

THEATRE ANNOUNCES THE END

AUGUSTA CHRONCILE BUSINESS SECTION OCT 13 2000,By John Bankston

Coming Sunday if you want to See a movie for a dollar go rent SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT. Augusta’s last dollar theatre will close after 25 years.
COLUMBIA THEATRES Located in Columbia Square Shopping center will roll it’s final screening Sunday. The theatre, owned by Georgia theatres is the city’s second run movie theatre to close.General Cinema’s REGENCY 8 located behind Regency Mall shut down Sept. 28 after 13 years in South Augusta.
Georgia Theatre executives were out of office and unavailable for comment.Only, One theatre remains for Augustan’s to see second runmovies at Discount prices- The Regal Augusta Village 12 in the west Augusta shopping center, The Regal 12 charges $2.25 A SEAT.
The Maxwell Properties,Manager Kelly Davis said at least one party has expressed interest in reopening the theatre.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 10, 2009 at 1:47 am

COLUMBIA ONE… When Elvis died we did like many theatres and showed ELVIS ON TOUR and THAT’S THE WAY IT IS. I could not believe the people taking pictures of this filmed concert.I TRIED to tell them all they would have is a blank picture. THEY knew nothing about film speed.

COLUMBIA ONE….. THE SEDUCTION OF JOE TYNAN as one of our better 1979 movies,Alan Alda and an unknown MERYL STREEP. I SORTA THOUGHT IT WAS LOOSELY BASED ON Sen.Ted Kennedy.

COLUMBIA ONE….AVALANCHE EXPRESS Opens to bad business. I THOUGHT it would do well with Robert Shaw and Lee Marvin.Seems like word leaked out and this is way before cable yak shows that Shaw had died before the soundtrack was finished and he had to be re-dubbed.Sadly, it was to be one
of Marvin’s last films. MAYBE we outta give it another look.

COLUMBIA TWO….. We played the 1978 Michael Douglas movie COMA to real good crowds. Mediacl flick.Medical College of Georgia located here. MAGIC also played in Columbia Two.

COLUMBIA ONE…… How did we ever get DONA FLOR AND HER TWO HUSBANDS in 1978 i cannot explain it. In Portuguese and sub titles. IT was pretty hard core of a R RATING IN THOSE DAYS.

COLUMBIA ONE…… On REVENGE OF THE PINK PANTHER the loudest cricket i had ever heard got loose opening night.After the show I HUNTED and HUNTED for that cricket.

COLUMBIA ONE…..One night i went in the theatre to sit down.For some reason i get up walk out to the lobby and spot Laurie Auclair smoking a cigrette behind the concession. I tlod her if she wasn’t dating Chewy[ ASST,MGR AT THE IMPERIAL ] she would be gone. I THINK SHE WORRIED MORE ABOUT ME TELLING HER DAD who was a projectionist at Daniel Village.

COLUMBIA ONE AND TWO THEATRES…. One night after a sellout i am in the boxoffice going over some BOR’S when a man walks up to the box office.We had sold out both houses. He asks Mary See “What do you mean you are sold out?” as only Mary could do she grabs a BOR and Tries to explain it while he walks off.

COLUMBIA ONE AND TWO THEATRES…… Wave Ballard was a decent fellow and dog lover. HE took pride in putting on a good picture from the booth.However, in fun Wave and i would always be fighting over music to play before the film started. I sorta wanted soft rock and he wanted GLENN MILLER.

COLUMBIA ONE AND TWO THEATRES……Test print for both theatres before opening was PRISONER OF SECOND AVENUE…I found it hard to watch it in my spare time while they made adjustments in the booth.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 8, 2009 at 3:11 am

I remember when a little Paul Newman played at Coulumbia Two. Called SLAP SHOT It was the first time i could remember Paul Newman really using dirty language, I think he only made a handful of R -rated films.

One time before the seven o'clock evening show started I walked into Columbia Two to see Several kids climbing the masking to touch the screen. I couldn’t believe some adults hadn’t come out and gotten some of the staff. I threw them out,

I will try to keep this clean. One night while closing up : i was checking the restrooms and in the men’s restroom on Columbia Two someone had did number two on the floor in front of the toilet. Not in the toilet.ON THE FLOOR. Well, we had two old janitors,Husband and wife , I couldn’t leave it on the floor so with a popcorn box i scooped it up and threw it in the toilet! YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS UP.

One Afternoon my old girlfriend, Beverly,brings her new boyfriend to the afternoon show in Columbia One. Like an Idiot i walk up and down the aisle. My friend Charles said that was the dumdest thing i could have done.

SONDY’S PIZZA was a few stores down from the theatre.I worked out a deal for me FREE pizza and free passes for him. Most underpaid theatre managers did this all over the country.

I was so glad when we picked up THE ENFORCER from the IMPERIAL. We played it COLUMBIA ONE TO PRETTY GOOD CROWDS FOR AWEEK OR SO. Even at that time alot of folks in COLUMBIA COUNTY DID NOT DRIVE DOWN TO THE IMPERIAL for any movie and Clint’s movie was THE IMPERIAL’S Christmas movie. WISH we would have gotten it FIRST RUN.

One thing that bothered me when i saw the booking sheet for two CHRISTMAS movies The G -RATED PETE’S DRAGON with THE GAUNTLET in COLUMBIA TWO. I COULD SEE THE PROBLEM WHEN Clint sold out and all would be left for adult moviegoers a DISNEY movie. A musical at that. We were the only theatre out that far,so someone would never have time to drive down to MASTERS 4 or NATIONAL HILLS the closest theatres. At That time most of the films started around 9:15 Or9;30.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 7, 2009 at 10:27 pm

When we played THE EYES OF LARUA MARS we had a promotion; something you never hear much about nowadays;with WBBQ the largest radio station in Augusta, We gave away a very expensive 35mm camera to a lucky moviegoer that had won tickets on the radio. The first show was for radio winnners only.We about filled up COLUMBIA 2 that night.

Also remember getting hyped up for THE DEEP. It was written by PETER Benchly the guy that gave us JAWS.THE DEEP did okay for a couple of weeks. IT WAS NO JAWS!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 3, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Well you are right again about MY theatre. I HAVE the tear sheet from the AUGUSTA CHRONICLE and what threw me off is the big 1977 celebration with bells. I GUESS JERRY TINNEY WAS LOOKING TOWARD THE NEW YEAR. I guess we did open in the latter part of 1976. We had NICKELODEON and STAR IS BORN. NATIONAL HILLS HAD THE GREAT ADVENTURE while the Imperial had THE ENFORCER.

Coate
Coate on October 3, 2009 at 6:23 am

MikeRogers… Are you sure Columbia Square opened in 1977? A 1976 grand opening seems more likely given the two films you cited as the debut attractions, not to mention that in your comment on Sep. 30 you claimed “A Star Is Born” during February of ‘77 was in its 8th week (which would backtrack to a Christmas '76 opening).

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 3, 2009 at 1:02 am

I WAS WRONG ON STAR WARS BEING BOOKED INTO COLUMBIA 1 AND 2 THEATRES. SEE WEIS CINEMA CENTRE FOR MORE INFO ON THIS GOOF-UP.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 3, 2009 at 12:23 am

I REMEMBER JUNE 11 1979.
JOHN WAYNE DIED. IT TOOK ALITTLE TIME TO SOAK THAT IN. IT WAS FRIDAY EVENING AND DANGIT, JOHN WAYNE DESERVED A LITTLE NOTICE IN THIS CITY. ON MY OWN TIME, I GOT THE A-FRAME OUT AND HEADED TO THE MARQUEE WITH A HANDFUL OF LETTERS. ON MY OWN TIME. THE MOVIES WERE OVER AND THE PARKING LOT BARE.
THE NEXT MORNINGIT READ… JOHN WAYNE 1907- 1979" WE WILL MISS YOU ..DUKE" I ONLY WISHED I WOULD HAVE TAKEN A PICTURE. I KNOW WE WERE THE ONLY THEATRE IN AUGUSTA TO DO THIS. WE DID IT CAUSE I WORKED AT COLUMBIA 1 AND 2 THEATRES. FUNNY HOW YOU REMEMBER THINGS.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 1, 2009 at 9:58 pm

NOV. 23. 1978 IN THE MAIL COMES A PACKAGE FROM WARNER BROTHERS. OF COURSE, I QUICKY OPEN IT AND IT HAS A NOTE INSIDE SAYING; THR GAUNTLET ONE SHEETS NOW ON DISPLAY ARE TO BE TAKEN DOWN AND THROWN AWAY.. TRASH THEM! WELL, THIS CLINT EASTWOOD FAN AIN’T THROWNING A CLINT EASTWOOD MOVIE POSTER AWAY. I TOOK OUT THE NEW ONES AND LOOKED FOR A CHANGE. WHY CHANGE? THE ART WORK WAS THE SAME.
HOWEVER, I ASSUMED SONDRA LOCKE SAW HER NAME SMALLER THAN CLINT’S SHE MUST HAVE HAD A FIT.. SO ON THE FIRST BATCH OF ONE SHEETS HER NAME IS SMALLER. ON THE NEW ONE SHEETS SONDRA LOCKE’S NAME IS EQUAL BILLING WITH CLINT. COME ON CLINT!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 1, 2009 at 1:49 am

COLUMBIA 2 still playing A STAR IS BORN. 8th week. CASSANDRA CROSSING OPENED TO STRONG CROWDS, …FEB. 17 1977.
LATE SHOWS AT COLUMBIA SQUARE ARE BOMBING. WE HAD TWO PEOPLE FOR FAMILY PLOT ON SATURDAY. WE HAVE DECIDED TO SELL TICKETS AT 1.50 a seat.
AUGUST 2 1977 WE ARE PLAYING THE LAST REMAKE OF BEAU GESTE AND COLUMBIA TWO IS DOING VERY WELL WITH THE DEEP.
CEDAR BLUFF IN KNOXVILLE, TENN. STONE MONT IN ATLANTA ARE THE SAME THEATRES HAS COLUMBIA SQUARE. ALL OPENED ABOUT THE SAME TIME.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 30, 2009 at 2:07 am

SMART THEATRE MANAGER, JERRY TINNEY HAVING HAD A TIME AT THE IMPERIAL WITH THE EXORCIST HE INVITED RELIGIOUS LEADERS FROM AUGUSTA’S CHURCHES TO VIEW A SPECIAL SHOWING OF OH, GOD.
WE REALLY WERE NOT CERTAIN HOW IT WOULD PLAY SINCE THE TRAILER WAS NOTHING BUT A BLANK SCREEN AND GEORGE BURNS TALKING. MANY PRIESTS AND PASTORS CAME… OPENING NIGHT WE HAD PROTESTS ABOUT THE MOVIE. ALL THEY DID WAS SELL MORE TICKETS.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 30, 2009 at 2:01 am

ANOTHER TRUE STORY FROM THE FILES OF COLUMBIA 1 AND 2 THEATRES. WHEN WE OPENED FRIDAY NIGHT WITH FIRST SHOWING OF THE PETER FALK AND ALAN ARKIN FILM THE IN-LAWS A OLDER LADY IN HER 70’S WALKS UP TO THE BOXOFFICE AND CALMLY TELLS ME WE DO NOT HAVE SOAP IN THE LADIES ROOM. WELL, I AM A PRETTY DECENT GUY AND TOLD HER I WOULD GET RIGHT ON IT. WE HAD ABOUT 100 FOLKS ROPED OFF IN THE LOBBY.
AND I HAD TO GET THEM IN…BOY, DID SHE GO CRAZY. I MEAN IN FRONT OF ALL THOSE PEOPLE SCREAMING ABOUT. IT GOT SO BAD I WAS GETTING READY TO CALL THE COPS. YELLING ABOUT NO SOAP. FINALLY, I GUESS HER SON CAME AND GOT HER AND SAID HE WAS SO SORRY.
ONE NIGHT TOMMY CAPERS AND ME ARE SITTING ON THE CONESSIONSTAND SIPPING A COLD ONE AFTER A LONG NIGHT. OUT OF COLUMBIA ONE WALKS A MAN. SAID HE FELL ASLEEP. SO MUCH FOR OUR USHERS THAT NIGHT.
ANOTHER NIGHT A LADY COMES UP TO ME AFTER WATCHING THE ENTIRE MOVIE AND DEMANDED HER MONEY BACK. SHE DID NOT GET IT. WHAT NERVE. HAD SHE COME OUT IN THE FIRST 15 MINUTES OR SO,SURE I WOULD HAVE GIVEN HER 3.00 BACK. BOY, THE THEATRE BUSINESS. AND I AM JUST WRITING THE G RATED STUFF.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 25, 2009 at 10:07 pm

I NOTICE THAT IT SEEMS THE WORD CINEMA IS THROWN AROUND QUIT A BIT. WHEN WE OPENED COLUMBIA SQUARE IT WAS NO MENTION OF THE WORD CINEMA. I GOT CAUGHT ONE TIME BY OUR CITY MANAGER SAYING COLUMBIA CINEMAS AND MAN YOU WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THE WORLD WAS ENDING IT WAS ALWAYS COLUMBIA 1 and 2 THEATRES….AND HECK COMPARED TO A LOT OF MULTIPLEXS WE DID HAVE HUGE THEATRES………I GUESS EVERY THEATRE MANAGER HAS A PROJECTION BOOTH STORY, ONE NIGHT OUR PROJECTIONIST WAVE BALLARD BROUGHT HIS BASSET HOUND JUST LIKE COLUMBO TO THE MOVIES TO STAY IN THE BOOTH. WAVE WANTED ME TO SEE THE DOG AND HE SAID HE WOULD NOT BARK.WELL, THE DOG’S NAME WAS FRED AND IT WAS A SLOW THURSDAY NIGHT WITH A SECOND RUN ON THE JANE FONDA MOVIE COMING HOME RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF A RATHER QUITE LOVE MAKING SCENE OLD FRED STARTS TO BARK AND I JUMP OUT OF MY SEAT AND SHOOT UP THE BOOTH AND THERE IS WAVE TRYING HIS BEST TO QUITE FRED. THAK GOODNESS WE ONLY HAD A HANDFUL OF FOLKS THAT NIGHT.

mikerogers2009
mikerogers2009 on August 27, 2009 at 7:16 am

Columbia 1 and 2 opened with Columbia 1 showing “Nickelodeon” on November 23, 1977. On the show’s opening night everyone was admitted for 5 cents. Thousands showed up, so many that we had to bicyle the print over to Columbia 2 which hadn’t opened yet, and let folks fill that theatre up. The film starred Ryan O'Neal and Burt Reynolds, but even with that star power it died a quick death. I think the thousands that saw it that night was about it. Following opening night we had very bad crowds for a new theatre.

Columbia 1 and 2 was located in Martinez, Georgia, a suburb of Augusta. Columbia 1 had dual projection Xerox lamps, and Columbia 2 had a platter system. Columbia 1 seated close to 500 while Columbia 2 had about 350 seats. Both screens for a twin were wonderful. The staff included two veteran I.A. Projectionists, Paul Adams and Bob Smith. Smith would later go on to a TV broadcast career at TV 12 doing the weather. Bob also had a career in radio at several top AM stations.

The management team was made up of City Manager Jerry Tinney, and two assistants or house managers, Tommy Capers and Mike Rogers. Tommy came from the Imperial in downtown Augusta, and after having a regular diet of “Shaft” movies, Columbia 1 and 2 was much different. However, Tom will tell you today that he loved the Imperial.

Plain and simple, Mike Rogers was glad to be five miles closer to home. Columbia 1 and 2 played mainly PG films like National Hills – a family theatre. The hardest adult movie that played was a South American film called “Dona Flora”. Thank goodness Columbia County didn’t have a vice squad! Also, Al Pacino’s “Cruising” was a very hard R.

Mike Rogers let it be known that he would put up the first marquee. Well, on an errand to National Hills Theatre, Mark Kuchinski comes and puts “Nickelodeon” up. Talk about being hot! Mike did put up “A Star is Born” on Columbia 2. Columbia 2 opened on Christmas Day 1977 with Streisand’s “A Star Is Born”. To this day I don’t know why another film wasn’t shown in that theatre when it opened in November 1977. Some of the other managers from our theatre chain would sneak up to Columbia 1 and 2 and stand on Tommy Caper’s van and fiddle with the marquee. On one night Mike Rogers caught them and we all laughed!

Columbia 1 and 2 was an ABC theatre, and remained so until the broadcasting giant sold out to Plitt Theatres. Only Mr. Tinney, Bob Gordon Smith, and Mike Rogers knew of the sale. When Plitt Theatres took over there was no change at all.

The only news item that came from this theatre was when some local churches were protesting the George Burns film “Oh God!” The local paper came out, and somehow the Associatd Press picked up the story, and it made it’s way all the way to Hollywood alerting Warner Brothers! Jerry Tinney stated that the churches sold more tickets just like the protest of “The Exorcist” had done at the Imperial.

By far, the biggest grossing 1st run picture was “A Star Is Born”. Columbia 1 played late shows but they never pulled crowds like National Hills and the Imperial would. Probably the biggest grossing late show was “Easy Rider”. The worst was the 1976 remake of “King Kong” where only two people showed up on Friday night.

“Star Wars” was set for Columbia 1 and 2 but instead played across town at Weis Cinemas, a very small twin theater. Mike Rogers did keep the original art work one-sheet. I guess the boys in the home office in Charlotte didn’t think it would do business. It played the entire summer at Weis Cinemas.

The architecture for Columbia 1 and 2 was not one-of-a-kind. Theaters owned by ABC/Plitt in Knoxville and Atlanta had the same style and color. Tommy Capers stayed at Columbia Square until he got and accountant job at a major department store in 1978. Mike Rogers would stay until 1979 when he was fired for missing an employee meeting. Karen Harpe was the first female assistant manager at Columbia Square joining Cindy Muns who was assistant manager at National Hills when Charles Bruni quit. Jerry Tinney would stay a few more years before moving to the local newspaper. He was replaced by Richard Anderson, whom almost every employee couldn’t stand. Jerry Tinney made it family. Anderson was 100% opposite.

Columbia 1 and 2 was robbed once – shaken employees but no one was hurt. The concession crew included Helen Stark, Pam Mance, Frankie Burroughs, Laurie Avclair, Cathy McNitt, Mary See, Karen Harpe, Angie Darrell, and Cindy Dogget. A fantastic crew for 2 young assistant managers. Susan Shaver was lead box office girl. She was from National Hills, and trained new box office girls, and kept Mike Rogers mind on closing up the box office with the right numbers! Cathy McNitt would marry Johnny Arena, the assistant manager at the Imperial. Cathy Medlin and Mark Barkley, two employees at the Imperial, would also marry.

Columbia 1 and 2 was bought out by United Artists which quickly cut Columbia 1 into two theatres, ruining a beautiful screen. Later, United Artists sold to Georgia Theatres, and they cut Columbia 2 into two theaters making a quad. By that time it was second run, and all the magic that was there in 1977 was long gone.

raysson
raysson on June 12, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Was this part of the General Cinema Theatres chain?