Columbia Theatre

134 N. Louisville Street,
Harlem, GA 30814

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Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 16, 2018 at 5:16 pm

INSIDE work is of a gutted building,,

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 20, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Inside work still on hold,front of marquee is great.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 16, 2011 at 2:04 pm

they are slowly now rewiring parts of the Theatre and plan to remove the raised floor,hopefully soon.

TLSLOEWS on July 6, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Nice looking marquee.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 22, 2010 at 3:32 pm

I have been inside and long time ago the theatre floor was leveled off for businesses that used that space. SO inside it really looks like a hardware store could be there. I never got to the booth,but i think some of the equipment might still be there.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 22, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I drive by there quite a bit and have tried until I am blue in face to get these folks to look into Cinema Treasures and answer questions.

JFBrantley on April 22, 2010 at 3:24 pm

The pictures look very nice. Any chance on restoring the Laurel and Hardy murals on the side.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 2, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Well, I sent a Letter to the Editor about Cinema Treasures and how the locals could add stories. “YOU CAN LEAD A HORSE TO WATER,BUT YOU CAN’T MAKE HIM DRINK IT.” They printed the letter. HAD such a big write up in the paper about old employees and how they loved theCOLUMBIA. “YOU CAN LEAD…….

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 30, 2009 at 4:18 pm

OCTOBER 29 2009

THE COLUMBIA THEATRE in Harlem will turn the lights on the rebuilt marquee. They hope the town shows up and shows support.The Mayor quoted in the COLUMBIA TIMES-NEWS said “ IN our little town it will add alot of neat color"
The $69.000 project was partially funded by a $40,000 state grant.The story goes to state The project architect recommended a larger stage capable of holding two simultaneous productions,and reducing the flooring and theatre seating.

The marquee will set witha timer to come on everynight.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 24, 2009 at 12:04 pm

The Drive in in THOMSON was called THE MELODY DRIVE IN no REBEL DRIVE IN. My mistake.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 13, 2009 at 4:33 pm

I drove by the Columbia Theatre the remade marquee is up and workers were working outside the theatre. Hopefully, it will be open for local productions and maybe a film/ dvd show. I wish more local would get interested, but i have talked to some residents of this small town that feels it is waste of time. Wrens,Ga. about 20 miles away has an old theatre that was gutted fot future businesses.

mikerogers2009 on October 3, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Back in 1977 while we were busy readying Columbia 1 and 2 for the big grand opening for Colmbia County and Augusta, none of us ever thought that right up 1-20 in Harlem sat a vacant rat infested closed theatre called the Columbia.

The Columbia was your typical small town theatre. It probably sat about 500 people. It had a small concession stand and an ample supply of grade-B movies and serials. Since it served a rural section I’m sure it played quite a few 2 or 3 reeler Republic pictures. I’ve never been in the booth; I tried several times but the door was locked. I’m sure the 35mm projectors are long gone. If the new Columbia Theatre shows films I’m sure it will be on video — sadly just like the Imperial in Augusta.

The theatre was run by Bill and Nan Griffin during the 1950s to the mid 1960s when it went dark. Some blamed Augusta’s growing market, others blamed Thomson GA with its very nice downtown theatre and a drive-in called The Rebel. Television however really put the nail in the coffin. It affected several Augusta Drive-Ins, and I believe the Columbia suffered the same fate. The good news is the Columbia is getting a marquee that matches the original in color, and the theatre will be open for local productions. Harlem wants it to be the place to be!

Oliver Hardy was born in Harlem and every October the city celebrates his birthday with a huge celebration. Thousands pour in from all over the world. Now Harlem will have a link to Hollywood.
Larger, and I mean much larger cities like Charlotte tore down every downtown theatre and today they suffer. A small town like Harlem at least saved the building even if it was for the local natural gas company.

I’ve added the Columbia Theatre with the Campus Theatre in Milledgeville GA with the Oliver Hardy tie-in between the two towns.

kencmcintyre on November 30, 2008 at 6:01 pm

The cost of restoration was up to 750K by March 2006: