Fox Theatre

229 N. Main Street,
Greenville, SC 29601

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Fox Theatre

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The Rivoli Theatre was opened on September 7, 1925, with seating listed as 744. It was operated by Publix followed by Wilby-Kinsey. It was renamed Fox Theatre in 1949 and was closed in 1978.

Contributed by richard reagan, Chuck

Recent comments (view all 33 comments)

RPulliam on March 19, 2009 at 10:19 pm

The Fox Theater may be gone, but the theater in which it operated has NOT been demolished. The entire block is intact as it was in 1957 when I first moved to Greenville.

The architectural elements above where the marquee was were covered up at some point in the crazy 1970s…you can see there are some fiberglass elements installed over the original brick in Don’s photos (and that symbol, Patsy, that Don used means “copyrighted”). I bought a wonderful book at The General Mast two years ago that features many photos of Greenville and its downtown through the decades. Several photos are in it of the Fox (and Carolina) and you can clearly see the brick facade with architectural details that remain, today, on the building where the Fox was.

The Fox, or another theater, could most assuredly be restored if someone wanted to buy the building and fund it. I’m imagining that the space, if gutted, might reveal the theater’s former floor plan to some extent, although complete new interiors would have to be done.

RPulliam on March 19, 2009 at 10:20 pm

By “theater” in my first sentence above, I meant to type “building.”

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 2, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Thank GOODNESS Augusta ,Georgia has managed to save three of the six downtown theatres in our city.Didn’t these folks up there have any sense to try and save a downtown theatre,If Augusta could do it i know theBIG CITY of Greenville should have.

Carprog on August 28, 2012 at 3:34 am

The Roxy theater was down the street on corner of South Main & (Washington St. ?) across from Ivey’s. It was no longer a theater by 1966 when we moved to Greenville & probably was converted to a retail store. I’ve seen a pic on Ebay from 1951 when it still was in business. Someone should make an entry for it. I’m sure someone can give a history of it. I have a pic from 1950s showing its marque & the Fox & Paris made from Otteray Hotel.

Carprog on February 10, 2013 at 12:57 am

The Greenville Paris theater on N. Main St. also needs a separate entry. It was a regular movie house into the 1950s when Joanne Woodward came to the premier there in 1955 for her first starring role film “Count Three and Pray” with Van Heflin. It became a porn theater by 1960s. She was a Greenville High graduate.

RPulliam on June 24, 2013 at 11:08 pm

The Paris Theater was right near “The Center” theater on the same side of Main Street. As I recall, the “porn” was actually soft porn/blue movies rather than anything hardcore, but I’m remembering the late 1960s. It may have gotten worse.

The guy from Augusta GA asked why somebody didn’t try to save a couple of those downtown theaters. Fact is, downtown Greenville nearly wasted away at one point with virtually every big-ticket store closing at some point. The theaters had no patrons. Everyone was going to the theaters at the various malls that surround the city. I agree a Main Street theater would definitely be a worthy venture at this point in time. Since the building where the Fox Theater was still stands, it’s a viable location.

nutz on July 5, 2013 at 9:08 pm

I was in a local movie made in Greenville primarily as a ego production. My mom paid $10.00 for me to perform. Several of my classmates also were in the cops and robbers movie only shown at the Paris theater in 1951 and 1952. Whatever happened to Pete’s Hot Dogs that use to be next door to the Roxy, corner of North and East North? I was “addicted” to their hot dogs? My brother and I went to The Carolina, Fox, Center, Paris and the Roxy every Saturday. Fond memories.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 21, 2014 at 7:16 pm

A survey of Greenville’s architecture for the NRHP says that the Rivoli Theatre was designed by the local architectural firm Beacham & LeGrand (James Douthit Beacham and Leon LeGrand.) It says that they also designed a house called the Piedmont Theatre. We don’t have a Piedmont Theatre listed for Greenville, and I’ve been unable to discover when it was operating or whether it later operated under another name.

scmovietheatres and the Greenville County Historical Society’s book Remebering Greenville both say that the Rivoli Theatre opened in 1925. The book also notes that the Rivoli became the Fox Theatre in 1949. The Fox remained in operation the longest of any of Greenville’s Main Street theaters, finally closing in 1978 according to an article quoted on this page at Greenville Film House.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 21, 2014 at 8:38 pm

I just noticed that in this 1925 photo (linked earlier by Lost Memory) the Rivoli’s marquee says “Gala Opening Sept. Seventh.”

nutz on February 21, 2014 at 10:14 pm

I loved Greenville then, I love her more now. You folks make my heart sing talking about the places that made me happiest in my formative years. My only regret is the ravages of time are probably going to keep me from returning. I guess it is true. You can never go home again. However, I can still live thru you fine folks. Thanks!

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