Marlboro Civic Center

106 Clyde Street,
Bennettsville, SC 29512

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Marlboro Civic Center

The Opera House was built in 1917. It was renamed Playhouse Theatre and then Garden Theatre. In 1930 it was operating as a 799-seat movie theatre named Carolina Theatre. In the 1960’s it was renamed Cinema which closed in the early-1980’s.

After sitting vacant for several years, it has reopened as the Marlboro Civic Center.

Contributed by Lauren Grubb

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 29, 2008 at 11:31 am

This site claims that the Civic Center was also called the Carolina:
http://tinyurl.com/9jy77l

Chris1982
Chris1982 on August 23, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Clyde Street must have been renamed and that is why it won’t map. Built in 1917 as “The Opera House”, this theater has a long and rich history. It is located at 106 Clyde Street in Bennetsville. During its early years, it hosted stage shows, vaudeville, and movies. It was known as the Playhouse Theatre and Garden Theatre in its early days. For much of its life it was the Carolina Theatre. Frank, a volunteer at the Marlboro Civic Center, remembered going to the Carolina Theater as a child. “The entrance was recessed and there was a little ticket booth with a door on it. There was some kind of railing along the entrance because we used to cut monkey flips on it while we were waiting to buy tickets. On Saturday, they opened at one o'clock or two. Of course, we were there a half an hour ahead of time to buy our tickets for a few cents.” Bill Kinney, Editor and Publisher of the Marlboro Advocate-Herald, recalled going to the Carolina Theater. “The only time I could go to the movies was when a bunch of us boys would go. We would go to the Carolina on a Saturday afternoon to see double features like the Westerns and Gangster movies with a cartoon and a newsreel and serial. We’d take a quarter and spend all afternoon. It was ten cents to get in and you could get a five-cent Coca-Cola. We parked our bikes out front without any locks on them.” “Our high school class graduated on the stage of the Carolina Theatre because there was no air conditioning in the school gym where we normally had graduation. Our class got to vote on whether we would graduate in the gym or the theater and we voted for the theater.” In the 1960s, the theater was renamed the Cinema. Its beautiful Beau Arts fa├žade was covered to give the building front a modern look. Like most of the downtown single-screen movie theaters, the Cinema experienced a constant decline in ticket sales over the next two decades. Frank remembered going into the Cinema. “Most of the time it was freezing cold in there. When you’ve opened for a movie and you have five people in the building, you can’t afford to keep it toasty warm.” In the early 1980s, the Cinema closed. It sat abandoned and deteriorating until a group of local citizens decided to see if it would be possible to restore the theater and put it back into service to the Bennettsville community.

SethG
SethG on February 12, 2019 at 8:40 am

Not sure why this won’t map. 106 Clyde is correct. Very easy to spot in the satellite view. Clyde is one block to the east of the courthouse square.

SethG
SethG on February 12, 2019 at 9:11 am

Not sure why this listing is empty, there’s a bunch of information in the comments. The NRHP listing says that it was built in 1918, as a live theater/opera house. It originally seated 500. It was sold to O.C. Scarborough in 1930, which is when it became a movie theater.

SethG
SethG on February 12, 2019 at 3:48 pm

According to the 1920 Sanborn map, it did have a projector installed, so it might have showed movies from time to time.

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