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I have a photo of the Dreamland taken in the mid-thirties. The feature was “The Healer” a 1935 Monogram B featuring a young Mickey Rooney. In the photo one can clearly see the one sheet and eight 11x14 lobby cards promoting the show. After it burned all that was left was the brick projectionist booth. It was at Ninth and Broad Streets right across from my grandfather’s furniture store. In later years a Schwobilt Men’s Store was there and later an optician.
I remember one night at the Skyview when one projector failed and they had to show the film one reel at a time(about ten minutes each) on the single projector with about a five minute changeover time between reels. It took forever to see both features and most people left except us teenagers who were not watching the movie anyway.
The Augusta Drive-In was the first and for many years the only drive-in. I believe it opened around 1940. When the hydrogen bomb plant was under construction and thousands of constuction workers moved in several more opened. I remember the Sky View, Highway One, Forest Hills, Hilltop, Cloverleaf among others. The Sky View was the most popular during my teen dating years and yes we did smuggle people in inside the car trunk.
I remember the black only Lenox and Harlem theaters in Augusta where I grew up in the forties and fifties. I believe the Harlem was housed in a World War 2 salvage quonset hut. They were segregated so I never attended. I do recall the downtown Imperial theater having a separate entrance and third balcony for blacks called the gallery.
The Miller was the first run A film showcase house in downtown Augusta. I remember the somewhat naughty seminude paintings of nymphs adorning the walls, the circular recessed interior lighting and the blazing, blinking marquee. It also had a lavishly furnished women’s lounge upstairs. Saw many a film there as a kid and on date nights as a teenager. Hope it can be saved.
The Lakeview was also advertised as “Augusta’s only neighborhood theater” and by the early fifties it was on its last legs due to television. My parents discouraged me from going there because of its somewhat sleazy image. The famous birth of a baby sex exploitation film “Mom and Dad” played there and did huge business with shows for women in the daytime and men at night.
The Rialto was the bottom end of downtown theater venues…a long shooting gallery style of house with no balcony. It showed third run films and re-issues witha b-western and serial format on weekends. It was located between the Modjeska which played a similar format and the Imperial, a first run house. Admission was nine cents for kids in the late forties and I saw lots of films there. I believe it closed in the late fifties.