Academy of Music

225 - 227 King Street,
Charleston, SC

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Academy of Music

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The Academy of Music was purchased in 1869 by John Chadwick and was converted into a theater.

The main entrance was on King Street between two stores with the actual theater being in the rear of the building behind the stores. The theater had a horseshoe shaped auditorium with a stage curtain painted with an alpine scene.
The theater began by showing live acts and hosted many of the prominent names of the day. In the teens, the theater began showing films. The first film shown was Archie Shephard’s Moving Pictures. Throughout its existence, the theater hosted a mix of live and film entertainment.

In September of 1916, the Academy of Music was purchased by Pastime Amusement Company for $35,000. The company moved major shows to the Victory Theater and left the Academy showing minor acts. The theater was eventually torn down in 1937 after years of slow decay. A new theater, the Riviera, was built on the site.

Contributed by Lauren Grubb

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 25, 2007 at 11:07 am

What apparently is this theatre is listed under Charleston, SC in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. The name is “Owens Academy of Music”. Unfortunately, the Guide does not list street addresses. The theatre was managed by W.T. Keogh and Charles W. Keogh; it was on the ground floor, had 1,400 seats, and both gas and electric illumination. The proscenium opening was 21 feet wide X 34 feet high, and the stage was 39 feet deep. Local newspapers were the News and Courier, the Post, and the Sun. Hotels for show folk were the St. Charles, Calhoun, Pavillion, National and Caroline. The 1897 population of Charleston was 70,000.

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