Fox Theatre

229 N. Main Street,
Greenville, SC 29601

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Showing 1 - 25 of 33 comments

nutz
nutz on February 21, 2014 at 5:14 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!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 21, 2014 at 3:38 pm

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

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 21, 2014 at 2:16 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.

nutz
nutz on July 5, 2013 at 4:08 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.

RPulliam
RPulliam on June 24, 2013 at 6:08 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.

Carprog
Carprog on February 9, 2013 at 7:57 pm

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.

Carprog
Carprog on August 27, 2012 at 10:34 pm

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.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 2, 2010 at 5:58 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.

RPulliam
RPulliam on March 19, 2009 at 6:20 pm

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

RPulliam
RPulliam on March 19, 2009 at 6:19 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.

Patsy
Patsy on June 27, 2008 at 1:47 pm

And what is in that space or former storefront now? Please don’t tell me a…parking lot!

Patsy
Patsy on June 27, 2008 at 1:46 pm

Thank you Don AND Billy Smith. By chance, were you and/or Billy in Greenville when so many of the downtown Greenville theatres such as this one were razed? And do you know the “why” of it all?

DonLewis
DonLewis on June 27, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Thanks for noticing the photos Patsy. The credit really goes to my friend Billy Smith who had the foresight to take many full frame theater pictues over the years. I just do the editing and posting.

Don…

Patsy
Patsy on June 27, 2008 at 11:42 am

Don Lewis: Thanks for the photos…such a shame that Greenville would decide to demolish this cute theatre on main street! And to think the town had more than one downtown theatre and now….none!

DonLewis
DonLewis on June 27, 2008 at 11:30 am

A 1986 view of the Fox Theater in Greenville here and here.

And a larger view here and here.

RPulliam
RPulliam on September 25, 2007 at 11:44 am

I made a comment July 24, 2006 about a theater called “The Plaza” and I said it was at Stone Plaza Shopping Center. That should have been “Lewis Plaza” vice “Stone Plaza.” Don’t know how I misremembered it, but I was in Greenville during December and drove past it.

Patsy
Patsy on October 17, 2006 at 7:54 am

Sorry…I see that it was in your earlier post concerning its theatre organ.

Patsy
Patsy on October 17, 2006 at 7:52 am

Was the Rivoli once in Greenville?

RebeccaJHB
RebeccaJHB on July 27, 2006 at 10:08 am

I worked at the Carolina, the Fox, and the Paris during the early 70’s. The Carolina was right across Main Street from the Daniel Building. The Fox and the Paris were across Main Street from each other. The Fox showed “Black” movies at that time and the Paris showed adult movies. I can’t remember what the Paris was called originally. Maybe the Bijou?

Patsy
Patsy on July 24, 2006 at 7:54 pm

Lost Memory: Great article about the former theatres of Greenville SC which I forwarded to my Buffalo friend, Jerry.

William
William on July 24, 2006 at 3:54 pm

As the Rivoli Theatre it seated 800 people and was operated by the Wilby-Kincey circuit which was part of the Paramount Theatres chain.

RPulliam
RPulliam on July 24, 2006 at 3:41 pm

One other comment, especially for folks in Greenville interested in learning more.

The Greenville News would be a valuable resource to check out for photos. I distinctly recall a major feature article, with photos, done on the Carolina at the time it was closing down. A reporter toured the backstage area and reported on all the remnants of vaudeville still in evidence there. There were pictures.

Very probably, something with photos was run when the Fox closed its doors, too.

(I was an usher at the Mall Cinema in the fall of 1965, and my best friend ushered at the Carolina).

RPulliam
RPulliam on July 24, 2006 at 3:36 pm

From 1957, the year I moved to Greenville SC as a 7-year-old, until the mid-1960s when I was in my teens, downtown Greenville featured the Carolina (the largest screen in the city at the time…super-wide CinemaScope screen), the Fox, the Center and the Paris theaters. The Center and Paris were on the same block. One showed rereleases, often in double-bill, and the other showed both rereleases and adult-themed titles. Both these theaters may have had different names in earlier years. But I distinctly remember them as the Center and Paris during my years there.

There was another theater in the City limits…the Plaza, at the Stone Plaza shopping center. The Plaza generally got all the MGM and United Artists pictures (although it did show “My Fair Lady”), the Fox got the Disney and Universal films, and the Carolina go the 20th-Fox, Columbia and Warner Brothers films (I saw “Cleopatra,”, “The Robe”, “South Pacific,” “The Sound of Music”, “The Cardinal,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Bunny Lake is Missing,” “The Music Man,” “Gypsy” and “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” all at the Carolina).

In 1965, the Mall Cinema was built behind the Wade Hampton Mall. This theater showed Warner Brothers, United Artists and American-International films. Later came the Astro I and Astro II built next door to the Star Lanes Bowling Alley down 291 By-Pass (a few miles down from McAlister Square, which also featured its own theater complex in the last 1960s. At the Astro theaters, I saw “Funny Girl” and “Camelot” and “Finian’s Rainbow.” The Carolina was being closed down about that time.

Someone indicated the Fox was demolished. The entire block remains intact, including the space the Fox occupied, but it’s possibly been totally rehabbed for some other purpose since the theater closed. Theoretically, it could be restored.

Patsy
Patsy on May 31, 2006 at 8:07 pm

Greenville SC is a very quaint southern city with a beautiful main street which needs a theatre!

clw2000
clw2000 on May 31, 2006 at 1:33 pm

Hello –

I enjoyed the comments and am moving to Greenville within a year or so. I am interested in opening a theater for independant/arthouse/classic/foreign films. I will be moving from Columbia where we have the Nickelodeon which does a great job. I am early in the process, so anyone who would like to help or offer information would be appreciated. I’ll keep it at that for now. I can be reached at