Daniel Village Theatre
2803 Wrightsboro Road,
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This theater was originally owned by the Georgia Theatre Company. It opened on September 25, 1964 with the hit Disney movie “Mary Poppins”. Along with the National Hills Theatre in Augusta, it would play a lot of Disney product. The theatre was built with a small lobby and concession area. Many times moviegoers would have to wait outside.
Projectionist Bob Smith remembered playing “Walkabout”, an Australian film that was rated PG and had full frontal nudity. He lobbied the manager to change the rating to an ‘R’ as he knew he would be the first to go when the cops saw such a movie with a PG rating. However, the manager let the rating remain a PG. Even though “Billy Jack” contained full frontal nudity, PG pictures of the 1970’s were much different from PG movies today.
Notable films played at the Daniel Village, much like the National Hills. Both theatres were in nice ‘ritzy’ neighborhoods. “Von Ryan’s Express” played a long run at the Daniel Village, and “Murder on the Orient Express” also played to good crowds. It also played the first Augusta run of “Wind and the Lion”.
I saw “Freebie and The Bean” there along with “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot”. “The Tamarind Seed” with Julie Andrews packed the ladies of the garden clubs in. I also saw “True Grit” and “Network” along with countless others.
In 1977 Daniel Village Theatre was twinned which ruined the theatre. There was such a rush in those days to twin or triple any theatre. It reopened as a twin with “Smoky and the Bandit”.
One thing I hated about this theatre was that there were no doors going into the auditorium. If you were anywhere near the back row you heard the popcorn popping and the concession stand girls talking. I believe when they twinned it they finally put doors up. But it was a lousy design to begin with without any doors.
The theater was purchased in 1987 by United Artists, finally closing in 1993.
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