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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.
YES, Ed it sold itself as a rocking chair theatre,To be honest, I never attended the downtown theatres much as a kid. National Hills And Daniel Village were closer for mom. I did see THUNDERBALL and YOU ONLT LIVE TWICE at the Miller with a buddy who lived in Augusta,while at the time i was in the sticks of Evans on the way to Clarks Hill Lake. LIKE i said earlier even as a late teen the Modjeska always scared me.
Several of us ushers had thought about going over to the Weis to work. After John Mackey left i Know Charles talked about it cause he had a good friend there. and as Charles told me they did play John Wayne’s last movie, And Doggone it , it was his last. They played a lot of Paramount Movies. But to me it was not the real theatre business SMALL SCREENS and the seating was not the best.
Okay, Mr. Eight plex man, head over to Regency 1.2.and 3. I have the ROCKY HORROR story written out. I HOPE you agree since you and I ARE the only ones left from that wild five weeks, UNLESS, Barry was hiding in the handicap restroom downstairs.
Okay we are plenty of years removed from this . I WAS THERE had worked hundreds of late shows at the Imperial, National Hills And Colunbia 1 and 2 theatres. I had never seen anything like this. Did the management let it get out of hand as mentioned in the article. WHEN i look back,YES. However, the show itself lent to a rowdy good time, The COMISSIONER said there was YELLING in the cinema? NO kidding folks there was yelling and throwing bread and rice.IT was the ROCKY HORROR show. And wow, people smoking POT BEFORE a midnight show the smell would stick to my clothes even as far back as The Imperial Midnight shows. I did not smoke anything period. The stink made my theatre jacket presentable since i was always too lazy to have it dry cleaned.
I think it is safe to say that Columbia Square did not play it, By that time Georgia theatres ran it and they were big NOT big on late shows. I was later told by Craig that Commissioners Barnes wife was coming out of a regular feature probably ON GOLDEN POND AND HEARD SOME ONE CUSS! As if there was no bad language in ON GOLDEN POND if that was the flick she saw. That started the ball rolling. Every weekend night we had two cops on duty,I NEVER once saw them go into the theatre. They stood by the concession and drank free sodas. From GCC. I Take exception to Craig’s saying “ Augusta is not ready for a show like this!” I think the management all three of us got caught up in the hype.To blame it on a city is unfair. BUT I LOVE YOU CRAIG! and miss you.
MOVIE CANCELED AFTER COMPLAINTS
AUGUSTA CHRONCILE WRITTEN BY BILLY HOBBS.
A controversial audience participation movie will no longer be shown at the Regency Triple because of complaints about activity which led to the arrests of 12 juveniles in the last two weeks.
Deputies with the Richmond County Sheriff’s DEPT, had warned theatre officials that if the situation continued, they would recommened to the county commission that their business license be revoked.
Craig Zacker, Manager of the Triple said tuesday night he has decided to stop showing ROCKY HORROR because ‘’ IF THIS PICTURE IS SO EXTREME THAT WE NEED COPS sittng inside monitoring it. then i just do not feel it is worth our showing it here'‘.
The movie has been playing the last five weeks there. ’‘ Apparently , Augusta just is not ready for a show like this yet.’‘Zacker said, Richmond County Commissioner Travis Barnes, who is a local minister, said he and other commissioners had received numerous complaints about there being a lack of audience control by management. “ I WAS TOLD THERE WAS YELLING while the movie was playing” Barnes said, After reaching the conclusion that the problem might be a place where"violence could occur"
Sheriff J.b.Dykes said he followed the advice of the commissioners and sent the vice squad to the theatre to check on the problem. “Several persons were obsevered smoking pot .drinking beer and using profanity in the parking lot.While other were causing disturbances in the cinema.
LT.Donnie Chavous of the sheriff’s dept. said in the last two weeks 12 juveniles have been arrested. Minors drinking acoholic beverages. TWO of the juveniles were arrested inside the theatre for creating pubic disturbances. ONE incident happened when one youth took a fire extinquisher down and stated spraying moviegoers.” Incidents are going to happen from time to time and there is very little you can do to prevent it" Zacker said. Zacker said the movie will played at Columbia Square in Columbia County, Barnes said wednesday night he was pleased to know some action had been taken. Had problems persisted “They could have lost their business license for breach of the peace”
Bill, I worked at Columbia Square Cinemas And GCC’s REGENCY 1.2.3 in AUGUSTA;IF YOU have not checked those sites out. I am trying to get my ABC theatres guys to write.
HEY, RUSSELL, we really had it great at GCC. i know one you got on the calulator and figured out on salsry you and me were making about $ 1.25 an hour when you factored in those regular run features that always had to start at 10;15PM!
Then the kiddie shows and MIDNIGHT SHOWS!!! I REMEMBER one time when ROCKY HORROR was kicking butt Zacker asked you and me and DRAY IF WE WOULD STAY FOR A 2;30 AM SHOWING AGAIN FOR THAT crazy movie. I would not have done it for any other man,and i know you and chuck felt the same way. YOU DO IT FOR THE SHOW. aND MY I ADD THAT CASE OF BUD SURE WAS GOOD THAT NIGHT, never figured out how he got that case that late at night. MAN, THAT IS THE REAL THEATRE BUSINESS. These places today are hardly the showmanship we had. About GCC there are a lot of GCC THEATRES listed with comments. MAYBE stan knows.
It might have seated 1159 folks with old wooden seats,but when the rocking chairs went in in the mid to late 60’s that theatre held 881 people , I know that beacuse of one movie,,JAWS.
ANOTHER POPULAR SHOW was the PEPSI/ KELLY BUDDY ClUB kid shows every saturday morning.Bring 4 pepsi bootle caps and 2 kelly hamburger wrappers to see a free movie and WIN prizes given away by TROOPER TERRY a WJBF KID SHOW HOST.Every kid in AUGUSTA would want to have their birthday party on tv 6 every afternoon. The Imperial would be packed with kids. 881 seats!
Okay, I MESSED UP! John Mackey was NOT in the theatre business when this ad was run in the local paper witha painted on skirt. I HEARD the story either from John or my cousin Ray who managed a twin in Hendersonville,N.C. SORRY JOHN, but i have learned quickly to have facts 100%.
Nick, you better be right about those films! There are guys on here that ssem to know everything about the theatre business except for where i got my theatre jacket dry cleaned. AND According to Rochelle i did not get it cleaned enought!
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!
It always amazed me to hear projectionists cry about losing their jobs. Back, in 1976 when i saw my first platter; heck. i knew the writing was on the wall. HECK, who has to worry about a change over. What’s CARBON ARCS! I KNEW AUTOMATION would kill that profession.WHILE i was in management at ABC THEARES AND later Plitt i had no problem with operators.Let them worry about the booth. By the time i got to GCC I could see it really ending. IF YOU ARE STILL RUNNING A BOOTH YOU HAVE A STRONG LOCAL. The local here in Augusta Local 518 had to merge with the Stagehands Local 629 which i am now a member. I still can’t understand why Hollywood will use UNION people to make a film and then turn it over to some usher or concessionstand girl to run the booth. Might be me ,but i never could figure out why they would turn their product over to a seventeen year old kid at your local 30 Plex
Dickie, I WORKED for ABC/ PLITT THEATRES and everynight i had to call our figures into COLUMBIA and i think you guys were the ABC THEATRE we called from Augusta.Wasn’t our D.M. Mr, Biggs? Anyways, We would almost everynight talk to a girl named PEGGY. I Wonder if i have the right theatre. I know the girl was Peggy.
YOU GUYS! After being corrected on the opening of COLUMBIA 1 and 2 Theatres. I MIGHT be off a few days. But i really think LOVE STORY opened this theatre. I GUESS IF i had the time i could look at mircofilm from the paper and really know. That is how i found out about MASH being the last film to play at Forest Hills Drive-in.
After, Southgate closed and it just sit for months empty i went by and took down the two poster frames for my one sheets. I am surprized Georgia Theatres left them.
Bill, you know what the sad part is and i have gone out of my mind, but there are at least 10 friends of mine who meet up everyonce in awhile and talk nothing but the theatre, THE REAL THEATRE business from the 70’s.Some of those guys could add so much if nothing more than a strong history of Augusta Theatres. Sadly, most of our projectionists are gone. They have so much info.THEY LIKE reading my stories,BUT NOOOOOOOOO, they are too shy to join in.
Believe it or not, I still have my Plitt Theatre Employees' card. WONDER how many are still around.
Superman was really one of the last big blockbusters to play at the Imperial in Augusta.I remember the employees from the Plitt Theatres going down the night before it opened for a sneak preview.I was able to get the one sheet out to Columbia Square for a cross plug.
OF COURSE, I kept it.If i REMEMBER right didn’t it sorta begin this area of listing everyone in the credits including food services. I know alot of nights when no one stayed behind we would cut off the lamps to save carbon arcs. Sometimes,the boothwould just shut down.
SOUNDER opened at NATIONAL HILLS . LADY SINGS THE BLUES opened at the MILLER. You know SHAFT was Directed by GORDON PARKS. Wasn’t HIERONYMUS rated X when it was Released. From dealing with the black moviegoer of the early 70’s i know SOUNDER would have died a slow death at the IMPERIAL. I Bet it performed bad at the FLORDIA.
I Saw in the Knoxville paper a write-up on the Tennessee Theatre. Saw those 35mm projectors. WOW, YOU GUYS must use real projectionists that know a cue mark from a splice!
Christmas movies at the Weis are KING KONG,Billed as THE MOST ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE OF OUR TIME. What a joke! Just noticed they had showings that started at noon and the last show was at midnight. CAR WASH was in the other cinema. While the Weis Drive -IN was showing 3-D WIDE SCREEN ..HARD CANDY with the second feature SWINGING COEDS. CHRISTMAS 1976.
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.
Mark in N.C. DO YOU KNOW THE STORY BEHIND THE DIANA 29 DRIVE IN GASTONIA? I HAD HEARD THE OWNER HAD COME HOME AFTER CLOSING THE DRIVE-IN FOR THE NIGHT TO FIND HIS FAMILY KILLED AND HE NEVER OPENED THE DRIVE-IN UP. IT WAS A TWIN DRIVE-IN.
RAY, thanks so much for taking the time and help me with our city’s history of movie theatres. I’VE GOT AT LEAST 8 OR 10 GUYS I WORKED WITH AT ABC THEATRES AND GCC THAT COULD ADD SO MUCH,BUT I CANNNOT GET THEM TO WRITE A THING! I MEAN THEY WILL SIT AROUND FOR HOURS TALKING OF THE OLD DAYS,ENJOY READING WHAT I SUBMIT,BUT THEY WILL NOT LIFT A FINGER. BILL BARKLEY HAS TONS OF STORIES!
YOU KNOW IT IS A MOVIE I REMEMBER SEEING ON THAT LARGE SCREEN IN 70MM AT NATIONAL HILLS THEATRE.IT IS MY FAVORITE MOVIE OF ALL TIME. I SAW IT WHEN I WAS 12 YEARS OLD AND REMEMBER THE INTERMISSION AND WALKING AROUND THE LOBBY LIISTENING TO ADULTS DISCUSSING IT. THE ONLY PLACE TO SEE A MOVIE LIKE THIS IS ON A REAL MOVIE SCREEN
WE PLAYED IT AT REGENCY 1.2.3. ON A LATE SHOW AND THAT SMALL GCC SCREEN WAS JUST A JOKE.I COULDN’T WATCH IT. AND I THINK AT A DRIVE-IN THE SOUND WOULD NOT BE UP TO PAR