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I GUESS I AM FORM THE OLD SCHOOL ON MY LIST OF AUGUSTA THEATRE AND DRIVE INS THIS DID NOT MAKE MY LIST. BECAUSE THESE TYPES OF CINEMAS PUT SHOWMANSHIP OUT THE DOOR. CUT AND PASTE ADS PLAYING DAY AND DATE. I KNOW THAT IS WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS AND WAS SO LUCKY TO HAVE GOTTEN IN THE TAIL END OF WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO GO TO THE MOVIES AND NOT BEING TREATED LIKE CATTLE. TAKE A FILM. SIT DOWN WITH A MANAGER LIKE JOHN MACKEY OR CRAIG ZACKER AND PUT TOGETHER A PROMOTION FOR THE MOVIE. WORK WITH A RADIO STATION LIKE WBBQ IN THE 70’S A LET A MOVIEGOER SIT ALONE IN THE IMPERIAL THEATRE AND WATCH WILLARD OR FROGS ALONE. WILL NOT HAPPEN.. i believe this theatre was built with 10 SCREENS WHEN IT OPENED.
I NOTICE THAT IT SEEMS THE WORD CINEMA IS THROWN AROUND QUIT A BIT. WHEN WE OPENED COLUMBIA SQUARE IT WAS NO MENTION OF THE WORD CINEMA. I GOT CAUGHT ONE TIME BY OUR CITY MANAGER SAYING COLUMBIA CINEMAS AND MAN YOU WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THE WORLD WAS ENDING IT WAS ALWAYS COLUMBIA 1 and 2 THEATRES….AND HECK COMPARED TO A LOT OF MULTIPLEXS WE DID HAVE HUGE THEATRES………I GUESS EVERY THEATRE MANAGER HAS A PROJECTION BOOTH STORY, ONE NIGHT OUR PROJECTIONIST WAVE BALLARD BROUGHT HIS BASSET HOUND JUST LIKE COLUMBO TO THE MOVIES TO STAY IN THE BOOTH. WAVE WANTED ME TO SEE THE DOG AND HE SAID HE WOULD NOT BARK.WELL, THE DOG’S NAME WAS FRED AND IT WAS A SLOW THURSDAY NIGHT WITH A SECOND RUN ON THE JANE FONDA MOVIE COMING HOME RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF A RATHER QUITE LOVE MAKING SCENE OLD FRED STARTS TO BARK AND I JUMP OUT OF MY SEAT AND SHOOT UP THE BOOTH AND THERE IS WAVE TRYING HIS BEST TO QUITE FRED. THAK GOODNESS WE ONLY HAD A HANDFUL OF FOLKS THAT NIGHT.
I WAS ON THE INTERSTATE AND SAW THE EXPRESSWAY DRIVE IN. IT HAD ALREADY BEEN CLOSED BUT I COULD NOT RESIST A VISIT SINCE THE OLD CONCESSIONSTAND AND BOOTH WERE STILL STANDING I KNOW I SPENT AN HOUR OR SO JUST GOING INSIDE THE BUILDINGS AND LOOKING FOR ANYTHING TO SAVE. I DID FIND A BOOK OF MOVIEPASSES. YOUCAN TELL IT HAD BEEN A GEORGIA THEATRE BECAUSE THEY TOOK AN AX TO THE BOOTH. JUST WHAT THEY DID 2 HOURS DOWN THE ROAD AT THE HILLTOP DRIVE IN IN AUGUSTA. ANOTHER CRAZY DISTRICT MANAGER I SWEAR GEORGIA THEATRES GROWS THEM IN KUDZO.CAN
YOU KNOW THE IMPERIAL HAD THE OLD CARBON ARCS. TOOK A TRAINED MAN TO MAKE CHANGE OVERS. NO CONCESSIONSTAND GIRL NEEDED OR TEEENAGE USHER TO RUN UP AND FLIP A BUTTON ON FOR THE MOVIE.I WORKED ABOUT 25 MINUTES AWAY FROM THE IMPERIAL AT COLUMBIA SQUARE;DEPENDING ON TRAFFIC.WELL. THE IMPERIAL TOOK A BRIDGE TOO FAR FROM US WHEN WE FINISHED THE 1ST RUN.ONE NIGHT THE ASSISTANT MANAGER COMES IN FROM THE IMPERIAL WITH A SMILE ON THIS FACE.I ASKED MARK KUCHCHISKI WHAT WE WAS DOING UP 25 MINUTES UP THE ROAD WITH A 3 HOUR MOVIE RUNNING AT THE IMPERIAL? WITH A GRIN THE SAID CHUCK DRAY, THE PROJECTIONIST DROPPED A 20 MINUTE REEL. SLOW NIGHT I GUESS. C.DRAY ALWAYS SWORE TO ME YOU COULD DROP REEL 7 from GONE WITH THE WIND AND MOST FOLKS WOULD NEVER KNOW. I OFTEN WONDERED IF HE DID THAT AT ONE OF AUGUSTA’S DRIVE INS.
IN 1956 THE MIDWAY DRIVE IN HAD PARKING FOR 250 CARS SO THIS DRIVE IN MUST HAVE HAD QUITE OF BIT OF LAND ADDED.IT WAS CALLED THE MIDWAY AUTO IN 1956. AND IT WAS OWNED BY COOP THEATRES OHIO. THE SUNSET DRIVE IN IN MANSFIELD WAS ALSO OWNED BY COOP. THEATRES SERVICE. I ALSO KNOW THAT THIS FINE OHIO CITY HAD SPRINGNIL DRIVE IN WHICH PUT 600 CARS IN FOR MOVIES. IT WAS OWNED BY M.MOSSER. SUNSET DRIVE IN PARKED 500 CARS IN THE LATE 50’S. mike rogers.
JIM NORTHINGTON WENT ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE CAROLINA THEATRE AND QUICKLY PUT TOGETHER A THEATRE WITH 35MM PROJECTION. HE TOOK THE BALLROOM OF A OLD DOWNTOWN THEATRE AND MADE A MOVIE THEATRE. FOR THE LIFE OF ME I CANNOT REMEMBER THE NAME, BUT HE SHOWED A LOT OF ARTY FILMS THAT DID NOT PLAY AT THE NEW FOUR PLEX FOUR SEASONS CINEMAS THAT TOOK THE PLACE OF THE CAROLINA. I HAVE SINCE HEARD THE OWNERS OF THE FOUR SEASONS SOMETHING CALLED EPIC CINEMAS HAS FINALLY CLOSED THE 4 PLEX. A 12 PLEX NOWS HANDLES HENDERSONVILLE’S MOVIEGOERS.FOR THE RECORD EPIC RUNS THE 12 PLEX.
JOE, I HAVE THE NEWSPAPER OF THE OPENING OF DANIEL VILLAGE.MARY POPPINS WAS THE FIRST FILM TO PLAY THERE. ONCE I LOCATE IT I CAN BE 100 PER CENT ON THE DATE. I LOOKED FOR THE PAPER BEFORE I WROTE MY ARTICLE. THE SECOND FILM THAT OPENED WHEN IT WAS TWINNED WAS DAY OF THE ANIMALS A RATHER CHEAP HORROR FILM. MIKE.
WHAT A GREAT THEATRE . I TOOK THE TOUR WITH A GOOD THEATRE BUDDY NICK. I WANTED SO BAD TO SEE A MOVIE BUT THAT TIME THEY WERE RUNNING A SING ALONG WITH MARY POPPINS AND I AM NOT MUCH FOR MUSICALS. HAD IT BEEN 2001 MAN I WOULD HAVE DIED AND GONE TO HEAVEN. GLAD THEY STILL SHOW 35 mm and not video discs like the imperial theatre does in my home town of AUGUSTA, GEORGIA,NICK ALSO TOOK ME TO OLD DRIVE IN SITES AND WE SAW A MOVIE AT THE FUN LAND DRIVEIN WHICH WAS THE MOST SCREWED UP LOT I EVER SAW FOR A DRIVE IN THEATRE. NICK SAID IT WAS BEAUTIFUL AS A ONE SCREEN, NOW IT IS FOUR SCREENS AND I SWEAR THE MOVIE WATCHED THEY PRESENTED IT ON A FENCE. I KNOW WHY OLD PROJECTIONISTS DO NOT WANT TO SEE SOMETHING RUINED FOR GREED.
MICHEAL, YOU COULD BE CORRECT. I WAS BASING MY FACTS ON TWO RETIRED PROJECTIONISTS.BOTH MOVIES WERE FIRST RUN AT NATIONAL HILLS BEFORE I WORKED THERE. BILL BARKLEY SWEARS THAT STROKER ACE WAS IN 70 mm I JUST COULD NOT BELIEVE IT BUT HE WAS IN THE BOOTH. SHARKY’S MACHINE:FILMED IN ATLANTA HAD IT FIRST RUN AT REGENCY 1 2 3 CINEMAS AT THE MALL. I WAS ASSISTANT MANAGER THERE. CITY HEAT ALSO PLAYED at the TRIPLE. WHEN THEY CLOSED NATIONAL HILLS I WENT UP IN THE BOOTH AND DRUGGED OUT THE FILM CASES THAT THE 70mm PRINTS WERE STORED.THEY NOW HAVE A HOME IN MY BASEMENT ALONG WITH THE TICKET CHOPPER AND ASSORTED ITEMS FROM THAT BEAUTIFUL THEATRE.
I’d be willing to bet Regency 8 opened in 1986. I was there on grand opening night, a guest of the manager Russell Smeak. Russell and I had served together at The Triple under Craig Zacker. Summer Heart had a World Premiere at The Imperial the night before one of the actors Clu Gulager who’s been in 100’s of movies was there with WBBQ Harlew Drew. Summer Heat was one of the first to play there. Before the theater was built when I worked at the Triple I was instructed to do an Area Impact Study for the new 8-plex. They had thought about adding on to the triple; expand in the parking lot- but wanted another location- North Augusta being underscreened was my selection for a site and I told GCC thats where it should go. Since the Hilltop Drive-In had closed in the late 70’s. North Augusta had nothing. But no, they built it in a place that in a few years became a depressed area. They put it in a shopping center near the mall. It casted about 10 years. I recently got in the 8-plex. Its like time stood still- The projection booth is like it was left when Bill Barkley cut off the Lights- Office computers- candy popcorn in stock room which quite a few rats were enjoying. It smelt of mold. I think the Board of Education has it now and is trying to sell it.
THE MILLER THEATRE WAS GEORGIA THEATRE.As a child i saw a lot of movies there like Sword in the Stone. BATMAN with Adam West SOLD OUT the place the saturday I was there.I was Planet of the APES there. THE MILLER played the GOdfather.IT also played TOWERNING INFERNO while Across the street The Imperial played EARTHQUKE. SOmeone called it SHAKE and BAKE. AUGUSTA’s LOCAL 629 stagehands which i am a part of was hired to clean the theatre for the NUTCRACKER BALLET. I FOUND COUNTLESS PRICELESS THEATRE ONE SHEETS AND RECORD BOOKS THAT we were told to trash. I took everything i could. I did open my stupid mouth about the movie posters and my union buddies grabbed some great BEATLES Stuff. DAVID HYATT WAS THE THEATREMANAGER FOR the good years and he sadly saw the lousy drive in type films Georgia Theatres were booking in. LYNARD SKYNARD PLAYED A CONCERT THERE IN THE EARLY 70s. WHAT MOVIE OPENED WHEN JAWS OPENED across the street AT the IMPERIAL? Well, THE MILLER HAD THE JAMES CANN FLICK ROLLERBALL. THEBUSINESS IT DID WAS FROM OVERFLOW FROM JAWS. WE KICKED THEIR BUTT ON THAT BOOKING. DAVID HYATT STATED IN THE THEATRE BUSINESS AT THE MODJESKA AND THATS ALL HE EVER KNEW. ED BLANK I AM PUTTING A COMPLETE HISTORY ON ALL AUGUSTA’S THEATRES THE DRIVE INS TO BECAUSE REALLY NO ONE IN THIS TOWN KNOWS ARE CARES ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THSES FINE SHOWCASES.
The ART THEATRE wasopened by Joe Goode in 1966,It was located on 555 broad street in Augusta Georgia.Mr. Goode was a vetran union projectionist who i guess wanted to get on the ownership side.It opened as a arty theatre showing mainly european films such as AMAN AND A WOMAN and THE FOX.These were for the most part rated x, but this was a middle 60s adult film. today it might be rated pg 13. they did show the movie GIRLY and THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE and the Peter Boyle movie JOE.Goode’s concessionstand was about five feet long right behind the box office,It advertised in self as an underground theatre becuse moviegoers were actully in basement type theatre. It seated about 100 people,By the time the Kung Fu rage started Goode switched the theatre to Cinema One were it played mainly BRUCE LEE type films, And boy could he book them in. This Theatre was located in the red light district on downtown far away from the Miller and Imperial theatres. I only saw A Bruce Lee double feature there in the early 70s. It closed in the Mid 80s.
WE must not be talking about the same theatre. THIS THEATRE WAS TWINNED IN THE EARLY 70s I saw Paper Moon there in 1973. also WALKING TALL int early 70s My cousin ray rogers worked this theatre in the booth and later in management. it was owned by alocal showman Jim Northington. He ran the Joy and Hendersonville Drive ins. I clearly remember going downstairs were the restrooms were located and got at least 100 one sheets and lobby cards. I found an original 2001 poster i treasure today. the SMALL THEATRE WAS BUILT WHERE THE BALCONY WAS IN THE OLD CAROLINA> IT SEATED 143. THEY MOVED THE BOOTH DOWNSTAIRS FOR THO OLD THEATRE BEHIND THE CONCESSION STAND. THE MAIN THEATRE WAS REDUCED TO 643 seats when the booth was built downstairs behind the concession stand. I saw PALE RIDER in The old theatre. I am pretty sure the small twin had xenon light while downstairs in think they still used carbon arcs. NO THIS THEATRE WAS TWINNED IN THE 1980s. THE JOY DRIVE IN IN HENDERSONVIILE WAS A VERY NICE DRIVE IN > HOWEVER THE HENDERSONVILLE DRIVE IN HAD A BOXED TYPED SCREEN AND WAS VERY BAD> TOWARD THE END IT PLAYED A LOT OF X RATED FARE> I ONLY VISTED THESE THEATRE SINCE I LIVED IN AUGUSTA GEORGIA WHERE I AM DOING A HISTORY ON OUR THEATRES.
Ice Station Zebra was in 70mm and Rocky Horror played first run for one week until it was pulled. However, it did play on a midnight show but never got the response that the film received at regency I, II, III in Augusta in the early 80’s. In fact, one county comissioner threated to pull the business license from regency I,II, III if we didnt cancel the show. General Cinema in Boston told him politely to shove it.
My mom and dad met and worked here and named their first born after the manager Craig Zacker! His name is Sean Christopher Craig Rogers. My dad always joked his kids were by products of general cinema =)