Comments from Mike Rogers

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Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Southgate Cinema on Oct 17, 2009 at 8:41 am

SHAMPOO is now at SOUTHGATE after a pretty good run at the MILLER THEATRE.

Sept. 27 1975 SOUTHGATE CINEMA IS PLAYING THE HARRAD SUMMER we played the HARRAD EXPERIMENT on a late show at NATIONAL HILLS and did pretty decent.

HUGE ad in paper for MOONRUNNERS a first run movie. Nov.8 1974

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Southgate Cinema on Oct 17, 2009 at 8:34 am

By Michael Cass

When Southgate Cinema closes after the 9;30 showing of SUPER COP , Augusta area moviegoers will lose just one of more than 40 local screens.

But the Gordon Highway theatre’s sentimental value is greater to some folks than its economic loss. “ i am sad to see it go because it is nice to watch a movie on a large screen” said Doug Moore Assistant Manager at REGAL 12 CINEMAS one of several muliplex theatres dominating the Augusta movie market. “ it was a real experience.”

SOUTHGATE, which has shown second run movies on an oversize screen for a dollar since at least the 1970’s is closing for lack of business , mamager Ellen Carter said,

If Regency 8 were to close,Observers said a flood of South Augusta movielovers would likely flow to REGAL 12 , MASTERS 7 OR EVANS 12 TO SATISFY their fix for first run movies. Regency Mall 1 2 3 closed earlier this year inside Regency Mall. Ms.Carter has managed SOUTHGATE CINEMA FOR 19 YEARS SAID THE theatre simply could not keep up with the newer screens.

One Mistake. I can assure you during the 70’s SOUTHGATE CINEMA was a first run theatre. I have the newspaper ads from those days to prove it.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Hillsboro III Theatres on Oct 17, 2009 at 8:13 am

The first ultravision theatre i saw was the GASTON MALL theatre. It had different feel to from what i was use to. We never had an ULTRAVISION theatre in Augusta.IT must have been a great place and theatre complex.Living in large cities such as Tampa has a lot of Drawbacks, but the selection of theatres is a dream. especially when you had a good friend that showed movies in such great theatres. Mr, Charlie!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Hillsboro Eight Cinemas on Oct 17, 2009 at 8:06 am

I tell you Nick Firsthand after seven years in the business CARMIKE is a second rate player. I know they must have had kids running the booth.NO union projectionists i knew would stand for such shabby film presentation. Sean was born March 28 1988.What else can you do? Managers in my time never would have allowed such film presentation. NATIONAL HILLS THEATRE? very seldom did i have to go to the booth to tell Mr,Pete a film was out of focus.DID NOT HAPPEN. WOULD NOT HAPPEN.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Hi-Nabor Drive-In on Oct 13, 2009 at 4:57 pm

My source was the 1956 MOTION PICTURE ALMANAC that i found in the trash at the Miller theatre. I knew this book would come in handy. Any more HOUSTON area DRIVE-in needed let me know .

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Imperial Theatre on Oct 13, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Couldn’t Charlotte save any of her theatres? What’s wrong with you folks. We saved three downtown theatres in Augusta. And even Atlanta has sense enought to saved a few of their old theatres.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Columbia Theater on Oct 13, 2009 at 4:33 pm

I drove by the Columbia Theatre the remade marquee is up and workers were working outside the theatre. Hopefully, it will be open for local productions and maybe a film/ dvd show. I wish more local would get interested, but i have talked to some residents of this small town that feels it is waste of time. Wrens,Ga. about 20 miles away has an old theatre that was gutted fot future businesses.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about My movie memories of summer 1978 on Oct 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm

OLIVER’S STORY one of the best. Listen, I was in the business during the summer of 78 and OLIVER’S STORY was a turkey.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Majestic Theater on Oct 13, 2009 at 4:17 pm

I Thought this might be the MAJESTIC THEATRE in the Late 80’s short lived TV SERIES THE POPCORN KID. Yep, the entire show took place in the MAJESTIC theatre. The show was on CBS for about 6 episodes. So it goes.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Hi-Nabor Drive-In on Oct 13, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Bob, here is a little bit of info for you on the HI-NABOR DRIVE-IN .

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Imperial Theatre on Oct 13, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Talk about panic, My first day as Assistant Manager i walk up unlock the doors let Cathy and Margret in and proceed to the check out office to open the safe. Well, I had the combonation and i stated to open the safe.Only i couldn’t hit the right numbers. The Safes at COLUMBIA 1 and 2 NATIONAL HILLS were a breeze.
Heck, You could miss it and the safe would open. Not this safe at the IMPERIAL. It looked like it dated back to FORD’S THEATRE! I just could not get it open. I finally Tommy was working at a nearby department store and i called him for help. Thank goodness he was able to open that stupid safe: having opened it thousands of times. He admitted you really had to stop right on the right number. I think the rest of the day i closed it, but didn’t dare lock it.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about National Hills Theatre on Oct 13, 2009 at 3:49 pm

National Hills Theatre also ran lady shopper movies on tuesday at 10a.m. Ladies would get in free get free gifts from merchants in the shopping center,Then watch a free movie aimed at their taste in films.This ran for along time and was the only theatre in town to do such a thing.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Columbia Square Cinemas on Oct 13, 2009 at 3:41 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 commented about Florida Theatre on Oct 13, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Yes,Nick NATIONAL HILLS got the MGM FAB.Four. It seemed like every fall we would get those four films.Ryan’s Daughter is the only one i never watched. Well, i remember Daniel Village theatre here had just open entrance.Never could figure that out.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Majestic Theater on Oct 13, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Still looking for the “lost” MAJESTIC theatre from the MARY TYLER MOORE production THE POPCORN KID A short lived TV SERIES in the late 80’S that took place in a downtown movie theatre.AM I THE ONLY PERSON TO HAVE SEEN THIS SHOW?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Fine Arts Theatre on Oct 11, 2009 at 12:15 pm


EXOTIC FRENCH FANTASIES plus PEACH FUZZ. no one under 18 admitted. Admission $4.00 Couples $6.00 and get this written on the ad in the Ashville paper,,,, MALES AND FEMALES only as couples.

ADULT FILM LADIES WELCOME. Box office opens at 12;45 continuous shows from 1p.m. til 10;45 p.m. WOW. This town that let Ashville’s IMPERIAL be torn down, for THE FINE ARTS i would be afraid to sit in a seat there.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Colonial Drive-in on Oct 11, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Ed, great story on the Colonial Drive in. I guess one good thing about being in the military was you got to visit so many drive-ins from Augusta to up North. I really did not have a lot of memories of our Drive-ins Here, I remember going shopping at the new shoppping center built on the old Bon-Air Drive in.While my Mom Shopped i went straight to the Forest Hills and stood on that big hill watching.
I don’t know why but it always seemed like movies like BARAELLA or MidNIGHT COWBOY was playing. And often I got to watch a good bit.They Could have bben playing THAT DARN CAT and i would have been happy!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Majestic Theater on Oct 11, 2009 at 11:51 am

Could this be the theatre mentioned in the CBS TV SHOW the POPCORN KID? I am Looking for the MAJESTIC theatre from the short lived TV series. I know i will find it. Did you ever see this series THE POPCORN KID? Sadly, it was only on for about a month before it was taken off,I think MTM tv did the one that did WKRP. OH well, I will keep looking.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Majestic Theatre on Oct 11, 2009 at 11:44 am

Wow, I have finally found the theatre from the short lived CBS tv show that took place entirely in the MAJESTIC theatre.Could this be the theatre that was in that show that only had a handful of episodes before it was given the ax? I am so glad i stumbled on that summer replacement shoe back in 86 or 87. I wonder if anyone even remembers the show. I did get to videotape a few shows before it was gone. This must not be the MAJESTIC, but i was hoping. And quite surprized i have not read anyone yet write of this very ture show. If you worked in radio you knew WKRP was on the money.If you ever lugged a film or two up to the booth you know THE POPCORN KID was written by a theatre person. A MOVIE THEATRE PERSON not a 20 plex cinema person.TOO large,can’t get to know your fellow employees.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Columbia Square Cinemas on Oct 11, 2009 at 11:31 am

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 commented about Dreamland Drive-In on Oct 11, 2009 at 11:17 am

So glad to find SOMEONE from Western N.C. Sadly, i visited the DREAMLINE DRIVE IN once it had become a flea market, But,the screen was up. The concessionstand and booth. Box office in perfect condition.Looked like it could a movie that night.

Here is a little something for you Asheville folks….

OPEN at 6:15 first show at 7:15 Second show at 8:55 and third show at 10:30 the movies playing on Jan 13 1980 were DISCO FEVER and BAD GEORGIA ROAD and a third feature THE GIRLS WHO"LL DO ANYTHING all RATED R. This at a Drive-in called Asheville’s Finest.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Imperial Theatre on Oct 11, 2009 at 10:50 am

By David Wardlaw


Towards the turn of the century, a southern businessman named Jake Wells came to Augusta and built what then considered one of the grandest Vaudeville theatres in the south, and now,in keeping with its facade of grandeur is the oldest operating motion picture theatre in Augusta today. In fact, the next oldest theatre was not built until 22 years later.

THE IMPERIAL THEATRE was built in 1917 and opened Feb.19 1918,At this time it was called the WELLLS THEATRE.Being named after its owner. It’s opening was gala occasion in this town.

The interior of this grand vaudeville house was immaculate; News Reports stated…“the color scheme of the new WELLS THEATRE is most attractive. It is two tones of ivory and old rose.the rich,old rose hangings harmonizing perfectly with the grey and white tones of the wood work.The floors are covered with red velvet carpets. A charming feature of the new theatre is the commodious foyer,adorned with handsome mirrors and at last magnificent flowers.The stairways leading to the balcony are of white marble.

Mr. Herman R. Arndt, 92. began working in vauderville theatres in 1910 and worked as stage manager at the IMPERIAL from time to time it opened,through the vaudeville era. He recalled “I saw the IMPERIAL built from the ground up. I used to enjoy just standing there and watching” he added wistfully as if he had been standing inside the theatre at that very moment,“Yes, that one fine theatre in its day” and after a silence he gave a deep dramatic sigh and said,“those were the days.”

In those first few months of operation, the theatre was owned entirely by Wells. Wells paid B.F.Keith’s Vaudeville circuit a large ammount of money so that his theatre might be on Keith’s circuit of traveling shows. This soon became too much of a money burden fo r Wells and it forced the new theatre, not yet two years old, out of business. June 1919.thus the end of the Wells theatre,

The exact date is not known, but very soon after it is said B.F. KEITH firm bought the theatre at a great cost from Wells. Keith had already had successful theatres in New England area. This purchase was part of his southward purchase of theatres. The Name was changed from THE WELLS to THE IMPERIAL and reopened Dec,22 1919. This Change of ownership brought some of the finest vaudeville acts to the stage of the IMPERIAL.

This story by David Wardlaw was written in Nov.23 1979. I have to take credit for getting David this story because he wanted to do it and the newsweekly i worked for Editor Jay Mann he jumped on this.The big newspaper never would wrote a story on the Imperial.
I told David who worked at NATIONAL HILLS this was a great story.Heck, in them days we always thought theIMPERIAL would always be showing movies. Well, the sad part is this WAS A TWO PART STORY and somehow i lost the part two losing all the conversation with 92 year old Mr. Arndt. If DAVID WARDLAW is out there somewhere maybe you have Part two which is priceless to classic theatre buffs.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Florida Theatre on Oct 11, 2009 at 10:00 am

Nick, You didn’t write anything on 2oo1. I can’t believe only a curtain separated the theatre from the lobby.That sounds and would look too tacky in a theatre such as the Flordia.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Columbia Square Cinemas on Oct 11, 2009 at 9:55 am

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 commented about Peach Orchard Theatres on Oct 10, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Having worked in the theatres all my dating life i never had to buy a ticket or wait in line.That ended when my girlfriend Beverly wanted to catch CAMELOT at the Weis Cinemas. ABC and Georgia Theatres sorta had a deal worked out on pasess. Not this place. I tried to get her to see THE STORY OF O on the other screen .No way. We went to See THE SAILOR WHO FELL FROM GRACE WITH THE SEA and I thought Bev, was going to kill me. I had no idea it was that rough even with the R rating. But this outfit was nix on passes.Must be why we always looked down on them. THE SAILOR played at the IMPERIAL.