Comments from Mike Rogers

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Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Megaplex 20 at The District on Oct 10, 2009 at 2:34 pm

You know,Tim the day is coming and really here, when 35mm movies will be like silent films.While i was never a projectionist.I just knew when the film cans came in Thursdays i Picked up the film can and toted the lastest Eastwood up the booth i had a film in my hands. I COULD pick up and many times did clips on the cutting room floor.Yeah, things are better,but i do miss our old theatres in AUGUSTA; just like you in your city.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Daniel Village Theatre on Oct 10, 2009 at 2:25 pm

By Gregory E. Nicoll BEll RINGER NEWSPAPER.

CLOSED FOR REMODELING is one of those films which appears with no advance publicity,is sparsely attended,and fades into obscurity after a brief and inglorious week of exhibition. In this case , However, Augusta moviegoers should pay more attention since CLOSED FOR REMODELING is a local production.Brainchild of the manager of the DANIEL VILLAGE THEATRE, CLOSED FOR REMODELING is a curious human drama of men hired to perform some minor renovationsin an East-Georgia city.

The film follows them through an entire day of work, Arriving at 9;00 am to their eventual departure in the late afternoon,with generous amounts of screen time alloted to the grueling tedium of their monotonouslabor.

I banged on the theatre’s door last week.MOst of the people inside began to shout" We are CLOSED FOR REMODELING!“ Indeed they are. THIS FILM which would be about nothing without its stars. They are actually CLOSED FOR REMODELING. and they have every right to be proud of it.

There is at least one staff member who manifestly dislikes the production,though he too acknowledges the pivotal role of the actors in the making of this film,what it is, I refer to the nameless person who answered the phone Sunday afternoon and announcedin an apologetic tone"I am sorry but we are CLOSED FOR REMODELING" Such remorse over participation in so fine a film seems strange indeed.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about National Hills Theatre on Oct 10, 2009 at 1:52 pm

I guess like most theatres you could make a sitcom like the short lived CBS show THE POPCORN KID.It is impossible to list all the gang that worked at NATIONAL HILLS during the mid 70’s.The projectionists who had to put up with a young theatre Manager,John Mackey,with liberal ideas on movies. You Had in the Booth Mr.Pete cussing another John Mackey “hippie late show"or Gordon rushing up om sunday evenings with a coke and a bag of popcorn to relieve Mr.Pete.To the ring of Ed Williamsl laugh nd to the utter seriousness of putting on a good show;To the playfulness of Bill Barkley and finally one cannot forrget about the artful nutsyness of Mark Barkley. AND THAT WAS JUST OUR PROJECTIONISTS!!

One night our city manager saw about three minutes of the GROOVE TUBE and stood by the box office checking everyone’s I.D.

I will never forget Chewy calling me off the marquee only to spray me with a water cannon he had rigged up. His maniacal giggle as he drove off. Putting Bullets out on the ticket chopper to freak out Charles{ he thought someone was going to kill him].Lewis and CHEWY STOLE THE SHOW with the fake phone call to Mike Rogers in the lobby/ PAY phone.

The wrestling match between Lewis and Charles in the lobby after the show was over, Charles almost geeting down to his underwear for extra offense during the match. John Mackey standing there looking for the City Manager to walk up. or have a spy tell on John.


AND NOW…a quote from TOMMY CAPERS ABOUT me, Mike Rogers this was videotaped at our ABC-PLITT THEATRE CHRISTMAS PARTY REUNION…

“Mike was very good to work with; Everybody worked! The theatre business was good because you worked for 30 minutes,that was when the crowd got in. And Mike was good for the other hour and a half while the show was running. Dec.1986.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about National Hills Theatre on Oct 10, 2009 at 1:24 pm

What a double feature, JAWS at The Imperial and BENJI at National Hills.Most all the doormen that wanted extra bucks could head downtown and work a double.And with JAWS it was work.Some folks passed out in the body heat from the Imperial and summer heat.To stay at National Hills in that nice neighborhood,most doormen begged off, but i was down there helping a understaffed theatre.And I know Jim Neely liked it because all he did for weeks is pop corn. One time we had to pop corn for the Imperial at National Hills.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about "Apocalypse Now" 30th Anniversary on Oct 10, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Ithink it could have used about 30 minutes of editing.Mostly Brando’s raving at the end.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Megaplex 20 at The District on Oct 10, 2009 at 12:52 pm

CHUCK 1231.. I Guess you are right;my oldest son worked at a 14 plex here and understood my love of the old theatres,but you cannot even think of 20 plexs as treasures.We have one here in Augusta and i have never been to.Did go to a 24 PLEX at UNIVERSAL Studio’s in Orlando,and i just was not impressed.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Regency Exchange Cinema on Oct 10, 2009 at 8:05 am

By Albert Ross Jr.

The silver screens at Regency Exchange 8 faded to black Thursday night as the last movie house in SouthAugusta.
The General Cinema Corp. Theatre closed after 13 years in operation in the troubled Regency Mall complex.
General Cinema’s public relations director, Brian Callahan declined comment specifically on the reasons for the closing but said the company is closing several locationc nationwide.
“As larger theatres are being built smaller ones are closing.” said Callahan. A former theatre employee, speaking on annonymity said the cinema’s staff was given three days notice to find another job. Mr.Callahan said GCC has no plans to expand in the market ,nor build a new theatre in Augusta. The REGENCY 8 was built in 1987. The EXCHANGE saw competion heat up when Regal Cinemas 12 hit town. The final blow came when REGAL 20 opened last year.
Mr.Callahan thanked Augusta for its support of GCC “ WE WERE GLAD TO SHARE MOVIE MEMORIES WITH AUGUSTA.”

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Columbia Square Cinemas on Oct 10, 2009 at 7:45 am

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 commented about Columbia Square Cinemas on Oct 10, 2009 at 7:37 am



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 commented about Regency Mall Cinema I-II-III on Oct 10, 2009 at 7:18 am

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.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Regency Mall Cinema I-II-III on Oct 10, 2009 at 7:14 am

Another I should have kept the date department.

Staff Reports

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.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about National Hills Theatre on Oct 10, 2009 at 7:00 am

I know i should have kept the date ,but didn’t Department…..

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.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about National Hills Theatre on Oct 10, 2009 at 6:48 am

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.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Lenox Theatre on Oct 9, 2009 at 7:10 pm

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.



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.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Lenox Theatre on Oct 9, 2009 at 6:43 pm

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.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Who owns the Hillsboro 8? on Oct 9, 2009 at 6:39 pm

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.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about National Hills Theatre on Oct 9, 2009 at 6:32 pm

NOV.9 1978

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,

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Lakeview Theatre on Oct 9, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Joe, The building itself is in great shape.You can tell it was an old theatre that served the mill town section of Augusta.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Columbia Square Cinemas on Oct 9, 2009 at 5:47 pm

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 commented about National Hills Theatre on Oct 9, 2009 at 5:09 pm

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!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Imperial Theatre on Oct 9, 2009 at 4:53 pm

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.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Gaston Mall Theatre on Oct 9, 2009 at 4:44 pm

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.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Florida Theatre on Oct 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm

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.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Florida Theatre on Oct 9, 2009 at 4:14 pm

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!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers commented about Manring Theatre on Oct 9, 2009 at 4:01 pm

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.