215 1st Avenue NW,
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Located downtown Hickory, the Center Theater opened in 1942. It closed in 1972 following a period screening adult movies. It was demolished in September 2007 to make room for a parking lot. It had first run movies, and kiddie days on Saturdays, for only one thin dime.
The Center Theater was segregated until the 1960’s when seating for African-Americans was admitted down on the main floor. Seating otherwise was in a dark dirty balcony. Drinks and popcorn were brought up stairs to the African-American patrons. Ticket windows were seperate from whites. “No Restrooms for Coloreds” was posted on a sign.
There was one African-American theater in Hickory, the Embassy Theater, which featured first rate movies, big bands and dancing girls on Saturday nights.
The Carolina Theater is now the only theater in downtown Hickory.
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