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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.
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.
By that time most of these folks were updating resumes. Over screening was one of the main reasons i saw coming.However, every chain was doing it Regal Cinemas like cancer was growing everywhere soon over taking AMC and GCC, Both leaders for so long in the 70’s and 80’s. From what i heard about Regal I wouldn’t want to work there.
Another I should have kept the date department.
SHUTDOWN OF THEATRE MAY BE PERMANENT
The three screen General Cinema theatre at Regency Mall will close Friday for three weeks and perhaps permanently, a manager said.
“ It’s closing .It is not going to be opened Friday.” said Brad Crowe,Assistant Manager at Regency Mall,and Regency Exchange 8 theatres both owned by GCC.
MR, Crowe said company policy prohibited him from discussing other details. But an unidentified employee told theAUGUSTA CHRONICLE THE CLOSURE would be for about three weeks and was likely permanent.
Ellen Aub,Corporate spokeswoman for GCC did not return messages Tuesday and Wednesday. Neither Kirk Sessions or Geoff Lynn Director for operations in the eastern district , returned phone calls to the paper.
I know i should have kept the date ,but didn’t Department…..
RETAILER PLANS TO EXPAND
By John Mills
J.B. White’s will open a 15.000 square-foot home furnishing store in the space of the former NATIONAL HILLS THEATRE. The three screen theatre closed in january. The center’s owners will spend about $500.000 on construction to convert the theatre into a retail space, said Ofer Schecter,agebt and representative for National Hills Associates.
The new store expected to open this summer or fall.will also consume one tenant space next to the former theatre and enclose open space at the theatre’s entrance.
FOR THE RECORD…This place only stayed open a few years before closing. Mike Rogers.They ruined a beautiful theatre for a bunch of household goods.
Sometime in the summer 0f 1975, Mr.Pete our projectionist decided to train his grandson in the booth. On the big day Mr.Pete had is grandson open up for the first show.Guess what His grandson forgot the keys to the booth. In those days managers did not have a key to the booth.You know,Something about the Union. I think we finally got ahold of Mr.Pete and got the first show on. Later on we had keys to the booth.
The Lenox was a Black milestone,Sept.1978 it was torn down. The city of Augusta became owner when back taxes were not paid.In 1920 it was built for $100,000 and bought at tax sell for $1,181. Earl Pinkerton in a AUGUSTA CHRONCILE interview said “I use to work there showing movies while in high school and on the weekend people would be standing.They had good seats. In those days Black moviegoers sat high on the balconies of Augusta"s top theatres. IT opened with the movie THE TIGER’S CUB with PEARL WHITE and a two reeler western called HIS PAL’S GAL. THE architect was G.Lloyd Preacher, a white man who also did the MODJESKA in Augusta.
NO DATE ON ARTICLE MOST LIKELY MID 70’s
TEEN KILLED IN OLD THEATRE…..
The Augusta Police are investigating the death of a 17 year old girl.Whose body was found with stab wounds,The Victim was Louise Harris of Augusta. Officers arrived on the scene at 10;30 a.m. and talked with Roosevelt Palmer, 14, who said he found the body on the north side of the theatre and looked in an open door and saw an unknown black female lying in a pool of blood. The victim had been injured at the easr side of the stage and pushed over the edge of floor ,according to police reports,She had been stabbed three or more times with a sharp instrument and was pronouced dead at university hospital. The body was identified by her brother,Robert Kelly.Jr. Kelly said his sister had been missing since Thursday and was last seen on ninth street.As of late Sunday night , no arrests have been made.
There was no By-line on this Story..Mike Rogers.
I Have a good friend that knew the owner and was able to get hundres of one sheets out of that theatre.CRYING shame they could not save it, BUT, Believe me it was in a very bad part of Augusta.
Nick, Keep up the great work.I wish Augusta had more screens to write about. Chuckie, is right about Carmike. I think they are out of Columbus.Ga.We never had any here but the ones i have seen are dumps.But, in smaller Markets LIKE Middlesboro,Ky. the prices reflect 1980 box office prices.
Hey, I am banned from NATIONAL HILLS. The story goes that the manager a Mr.Jordan wanted Charles and me to call up and go by COLUMBIA SQ, to get tools for them to use to do some minor fix ups. They wanted to work on the seats on a saturday morning. I ASKED Charles who would pay me for my time? Well, Jordan couldn’t answer that so he has Charles to call Tommy . He finally got Tommy up and i heard he was upset.THEY finally got TOMMY to go.HE drove his motorcycle to NATIONAL HILLS ,and Charles DROVE Tommy to Columbia Square to get the hand tools. Lately,he even gave Bill Barkley’s family getting in to see a movie, AND BILL SHOWS MOVIES AT THE IMPERIAL! I WILL GET IN NATIONAL HILLS THEATRE… CHARLES HAD to break the news to be about being BANNED. I HOPE they transfer him.
March 8 1977 NATIONAL HILLS continues to have sound problems on the late show concert movies. Charles said Jordan will not give out refunds.On the next concert movie Charles is going to make an annoucement over the P.A. system in the theatre, WIZARDS has been the biggest Late Show feature yet.
MORE MARCH 8 1977…. A STAR IS BORN is on its 12th week at COLUMBIA SQUARE. TOMMY is stuck at the IMPERIAL MAKING $2.75 AN HOUR WHILE I AM making $2,50 AT Columbia Square.I Have more screens shouldn’t that be more money. I THINK Tommy and I do make a bit more than CHUCK.
April 2 1977…. There is talk Jim Neely might move out to COLUMBIA SQUARE AS MANAGER! Okay,with me,less paperwork.
FEB.17 1977…..Talk is General Cinema might be coming to town. Charles wants to work for them.Talk is Cindy Muns might be the first Female Assistant Manager at NATIONAL HILLS. Talk was right…Cindy Did become a Assistant Manager at NATIONAL HILLS A First for our Circuit,
Joe, The building itself is in great shape.You can tell it was an old theatre that served the mill town section of Augusta.
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.
I remember one night when we were getting ready to let the late show crowd in.Sitting on the lobby seating was four kids.We had been playing most likely a Disney feature and the kids came to the 9;15 show.No those young kids had been in the theatre since the TWO O'CLOCK show!!!One of them told us.The whole crew on duty that night was stunned.YouKNOW in those days you couldBUY
a ticket and watch the movie again. So basically,NATIONAL HILLS THEATRE was a 3 0r 4 dollar baby sitter. I DON’T know if it was CHARLES OR Mr,Mackey, they were walking to the phone to call the police when there “parents” SHOWED UP. At that time it had to close to 11;30 PM. SADLY, THEY WILL LET ANYONE BE A PARENT!
You know it truly is a small world. Next to Columbia Square Cinemas was Sondy’s Pizza. I dated a waitress there named Marsha Mcvay. Her dad was a naval officer and was an extra in IN HARMS WAY. FOR ABOUT 4 seconds Mr.Mcvay shares the SCREEN with John Wayne and Kirk Douglas when they enter the warroom on a battleship.Mr.McVay is the young baldheaded naval officer rising at attention when John Wayne walks BEHIND HIM. Oh, For the record IN HARMS WAY played first run at the Imperial! I have the newspaper ad.
Richard Hamilton did not create the camel used to promote HAWPS.My story made it sound like he did.In those days projectiontists did alot around the theatre, but they did not build camels,I am sure John Mackey’s staff built it.I had my girlfriend Beverly up there during that promotion on the road in front of the mall, She it looked better than the one Jerry Tinney had tied to the top of my car driving around AUGUSTA. Just don’t see things like that anymore.
Nick, doesn’t Tampa have over a million folks in it. MY city has about 500.000 and i am getting more feed back? Go figure.
Nick,you have so much to write, aren’t you glad i can do this ! brings me back to my newspaper days.Someone put the DIANE 29 DRIVE IN on the CT. I Wrote about it.I went there with you one time and BILL before they built the shopping center. No one has found the location of where i got my ABC THEATRE jacket dried cleaned.WOW!
Nick. Thanks so much with the help you give me.I just hope some Middlesboro folks check this out.
The Manring theatre was the Showplace in an area at the time it was a long way from Knoxville with mountain roads.La Follette, Tenn. was probably the cloest theatre in that area. Tazewell, Tenn. had a small drive-in on the other side of the mountain.
For the record, CHRISTOPHER LEE was coming to town to play Golf at the National.The movie tie-in was secondary.
From the old school i hardly find this worthy to be on CINEMA TREASURES. This is what the business has become. HEARD them in like cattle and heard them out. NO SHOWMANSHIP. I was so fortunate to get in on the tail days of going to the movies as being an event!
The Diane-29 Drive-in was later twinned. The last time i was in Charlotte i visited the site. One of the booths was still up and a screen.Before they built the FOOD LION there i saw all the old drive-in.It had a beautiful brick fireplace in the old concession area. At least that is what i remember.Huge reels were laying around the place.
I picked up a yellow handbill advertising the radio sound! I still have the flyer for radio sound. One thing that I heard, and maybe some of you Gastonia folks can prove or put to rest; I heard someone in the theatre business in that area said the owner of the drive-in came home one night and found his family murdered.That was the last night it opened.Is any of this true or part of it.
I have always wanted to hear from another source.
Do you have any stories on the JOY DRIVE IN or THE HENDERSONVILLE Drive in? Someone up there i know went to the Drive in. ONLY bad thing about The JOY was a railraod track went right by ;probably to those Drive ins IN Knoxille,Tenn.
It is amazing that while this theatre constantly played X rated films i cannot once remember the police ever bother Joe Goode’s Tiny theatre.I assumed since they were mainly european arty films it was not considered slut.BUT THEY WERE STILL X-RATED.
You saw it at the MARRAH theatre. I think that is how you spell it, I can look it up for the right spelling. YOU should have seen it at one of the Downtown theatres, I know the one in North Augusta was tiny compared to the Miller or Imperial. I found a wall size poster for THUNDERBALL when we were cleaning out the MILLER for the Ballet. I wish i would have kept my mouth shut cause all my stagehand brothers grabbed ALL THE BEATLES STUFF. Worth THOUSANDS today. I wish i could afford to get it framed.SOME of the bottom part is missing THUNDERBALL is cut right in the middle,
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.