Astro III

403 College Avenue,
Clemson, SC 29631

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Astro III

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The Astro III opened in 1974 as a one screen theater. It was the modern replacement for the Clemson Theater a few blocks up the road. In the 1980’s, two more screens were added to the theater with more modern sound capabilities. In the 1990’s, an even more modern theater opened in the nearby town of Seneca. At that point, the Astro III started showing first and second run movies at a discount rate. Despite the newer theater, the Astro III still did excellent business due to its proximity to the Clemson University campus.

Sadly it was closed in August 2008.

Contributed by Lauren Grubb

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Lauren Durbin
Lauren Durbin on December 31, 2005 at 6:18 am

A picture of this theater is here.

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on September 15, 2008 at 10:26 pm

Anyone know who is the landlord….It gives the town (i live 2 min a way from) but no name???

alibby
alibby on February 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Here are some clarifications that might help: The Astro III opened in January 1971, screening ‘Tora Tora Tora.’ Initially, admission was not by ticket, but rather by a coin inserted into a turnstile. Student admission was $1.25. The facility was state of the art at the time, with Simplex projectors, bearing 6,000 foot reels each, and equipped with xenon lamps. Seating was about 347, rocking chair style, with gold carpet on the auditorium walls, red carpet on the lobby walls and black acoustical tiles in the ceiling. A black velvet traveler covered the screen when the show as not in progress. Oddly, in this ‘space age’ theater, the lobby featured a golden Zodiac sun dial of sorts, above a minature replication of Michaelango’s David. Astro III was not opened by Martin, but by Star Theaters in Greenville, which operated the Plaza, on Augusta Rd. in Greenville, and the Clemson on College Ave. In early 1968 both received an upfit. Star also opened the Astros, and later sold all four to Martin, (later Carmike) in 1972. The house manager of the day would double as business manager, operator (projectionist,) and work the concession stand, alongside another (usually a college student) who would handle the box office and concessions. Two employees could staff it all during the week, with three or four as the full complement on weekends. Sellouts were not at all uncommon, averaging six to 18 annually. Midnight Man, filmed in early spring 1973, premiered at three different theaters on the same evening in June 1974. Early evening it premiered at the Osteen in Anderson (near where portions of the film were shot) and the Astro III in Clemson. Co-producer Roland Kibbee and female lead Susan Clark were on hand for the Clemson premiere. There was but one screening that evening. Following the opening credits in Clemson, Kibbee and Clark traveled to Greenville, for the premiere held at the Astro I later that evening. Burt Lancaster was at neither premiere. If anyone requires more details on specifics, they can easily be supplied.

Coate
Coate on February 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm

<<< In the 1980’s, two more screens were added to the theater >>>

I think the additional screens were added earlier than the ‘80s.

fatfink
fatfink on April 9, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Here’s a pretty remarkable photo of a personal appearance by Chewbacca at the Astro III in 1977 or so (I’m not certain that this mask was available before 1978, but STAR WARS played there for at least three separate runs before EMPIRE came out): View link

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