333 North Callow Avenue,
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The little Charleston Cinema had fallen into decay but was still showing films up to early-2005. The couple, Eric and Frances Meyer, who were last to run it threw in the towel and let it be taken over for use as a club called Gstyle Knights Nightclub, and they immediately mucked up the marquee so it wouldn’t even resemble a theater anymore, painting their club name on it in freestyle lettering.
Before the Meyers took over the theater it had set empty for a few years, and had been a porno house before that, so it was a noble effort to bring it back to life as a revival cinema.
Yet the Meyers focused on children’s and family films always third-run and discount. For a while they had retro “Rocky Horror” first-Friday-and-Saturday of each month, and even had free matinees striving to serve the community as well as humanly possible. But nothing they did would bring in reliable audiences; they couldn’t even give the tickets away.
The Meyers' valliant efforts to keep the theater alive included trying to start up a flea market and waging a campaign to get 1,400 people to donate $100 each to save the cinema, but getting other companies to underwrite free matinees was a great idea. If they’d had more knowledge of cinema they might have filled a missing niche in this area for independent cinema, foreign films, mini-festivals like of samurai films or Luis Bunuel — there would’ve been no competition. But trying to be family oriented in a neighborhood with no parking but plenty of porno and rifles never worked. They were heroic to last five years.
By 2010, the Charleston Cinema had reopened.
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