Comments from CharlieCoates

Showing 11 comments

CharlieCoates commented about Circle Theatre on Nov 12, 2014 at 2:45 pm

I was a regular at the Circle from 1970-1972 while stationed at the Pentagon. Double features were the rule and the films shown always had some sort of relationship, usually by star or genre.

I vividly remember my first visit to the Circle in May of 1970. The double bill featured Bogart: Casablanca and The Big Sleep. The audience was dominated by college students and their enjoyment of and involvement in the films (particularly Casablanca) was palpable. Of the many days and nights I have spent at the movies, that ranks as one of the best.

CharlieCoates commented about RKO Keith's Theatre on Jul 22, 2013 at 10:19 am

The first film I saw at Keith’s was THE LONG GREY LINE in 1955. The last was THE ORGANIZATION in 1971. In between were a lot of good flicks (MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, GOLDFINGER, THUNDERBALL and so on. By the early 70’s many of the old stand-by downtown theatres had either closed (Capitol, Metropolitan,) or turned to porn (Playhouse, Trans-Lux, Warner(!)) before closing. In my Army days in the city, I would catch my bus in front of Treasury on 15th Street across the street from Keith’s. I would walk up Pennsylvania Avenue past the Willard Hotel, which, at that time, was in full decline (as was 14th Street) and boarded up. Happily the Willard has come back.

Keith’s is, alas, gone. The space is now occupied by the Old Ebbitt Grill. Could have turned out worse.

CharlieCoates commented about Skyland Drive-In on Jul 1, 2013 at 10:58 am

You are correct. The Skyland was on Poinsett Highway, on the right hand side northbound, next to the WundaWeave Carpet mill.

Furman students were regulars. The school was just over the hill. Summertime triple features would run to the wee hours, sometimes until 2-3AM because of late starts due to Daylight Savings Time. Not uncommon for a bunch of guys to stop at Bo-Nats, get a couple of 6 packs, pay a dollar a carload (we also used the trunk) and sit on the ground and watch a Steve McQueen triple bill. A staple of these was always The Great Escape.

CharlieCoates commented about Paris Theatre on Jul 1, 2013 at 10:38 am

Ah, the Paris!

Not really a porn house during my days in Greenville (1963-68), but would show what passed for “erotic” cinema in those days. That meant scenes of topless women and heavy breathing, but not much else. Mostly French.

Double features were the rule. More often than not, the steamier feature would be advertised more visibly (but not too visibly) on the movie page of the Greenville News, with the bottom half of the double bill (usually a mainstream feature) in small print. E.g. MUD HONEY plus 2d feature: Elmer Gantry.

I recall attending a particularly racy double feature, Virgin Spring and Wild Strawberries, both by Ingmar Bergman. Both of these are considered masterpieces of cinema and are not at all erotic. I can’t say for sure that the management was aware of the true nature of these films, but such arty features were not uncommon.

An added plus: great popcorn.

CharlieCoates commented about Mall Cinema on Nov 26, 2012 at 7:55 am

Wade Hampton Mall was located, appropriately enough, on Wade Hampton Blvd between Batesville Dr and Karen Drive. The theatre was seperate from the Mall

CharlieCoates commented about Plaza Theater on Nov 26, 2012 at 7:51 am

The location and the photo are way off. The theatre was located at the back of Lewis Plaza. The basic building is still there. Comfortable, and the best popcorn in town. The first movie I saw there was “Mary, Mary” with Debbie Reynolds. The last: “Planet of the Apes”

The theatre in Wade Hampton Mall was the Mall Cinema, which opened in 1964 or 1965.

CharlieCoates commented about Belmont Drive-In on Nov 26, 2012 at 7:43 am

It was down in a low-lying basin next to some railroad tracks, which could break one’s concentration

CharlieCoates commented about Skyway Drive-In on Nov 26, 2012 at 7:35 am

It was open in 1975 when I graduated from USC Law School. When I returned to Columbia in 1977, it was gone.

CharlieCoates commented about Loew's Capitol Theatre on Jun 28, 2011 at 12:50 pm

My first visit to the Capitol was in 1952. The feature was “Son of Ali Baba” with Tony Curtis. (“Yondah lies da castle of my fadduh”). There was also a stage show featuring Patti Page, who sat atop the charts with “Doggie in the Window.”

I later saw the 1961 release of “Gone With the Wind” there for the princely sum of a buck. My last visit was in July, 1962 for “Hatari.” About a year later, it was gone.

CharlieCoates commented about Carolina Theatre on Jun 26, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Located next to the Wade Hampton Hotel, which was razed in the 80s. The location was on the west side of Main about where the parking lot is in the photo

CharlieCoates commented about L'Enfant Theatre on Jun 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm

The photo does not show the theatre. It was located on a street that passes under the Promenade(shown in the photo) and was next to a parking garage. That is largely responsible for the lack of attendance. No one could find it.

It was actually a nice theatre. I was a very frequent patron in 1971-72 when it was run by the American Film Institute. Shows would change daily and there were frequent series involving genres or stars. If the series focused on a particular star, that star would,more often than not, appear and participate in a discussion prior to the showing of the first film on the series.

One such series featured Ingrid Bergman and began with “Casablanca.” Ingrid Bergman appeared and discussed the film and her work/ Not unexpectedly, she was very gracious and witty. Quite a thrill.