Ultravision Theatres 1 & 2

1812 Sam Rittenberg Boulevard,
Charleston, SC 29407

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Ultravision Theatres 1 & 2 exterior

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Beautifully designed, the Ultravision Theatre was an astoundment and a first in Charleston. It had one of the largest auditoriums ever that had a huge widescreen, built for showing films that were presented in the Cinerama or Ultra format. It was equipped with large rocking chair seats when it opened in 1969. During the mid-1970’s or during the 1980’s the theatre was twinned. Later two additional screens were built alongside.

During its life, it was operated by ABC Theatres, Plitt Theatres and finally by Cineplex Odeon. It closed somewhere during the late-1980’s or early-1990’s.

Contributed by raymond

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

scottdavis
scottdavis on November 11, 2011 at 10:55 am

Yes, the Ultravision was a Carmike cinema before it closed. I thought it had 3 screens (one of the two original large cinemas being divided into two), but I don’t remember. Perhaps they divided both original cinemas.

MrZilla
MrZilla on February 13, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Besides Charleston, I remember specifically that there was one in Mt. Pleasant that originally was a single screen theatre. I watched movies there before it was split into two screens. That was up until 1979 & 80 and at that point it had not yet been split into two screens. Therefore, it was split sometime after that before it was later closed but I do know that in 81 it was still single screen that year.

Bevo
Bevo on July 28, 2012 at 9:17 am

Tinseltoes……As with the Cardinal-Raleigh, thanks for the Boxoffice link re the Ultravision-Charleston. I had not read this in the magazine. I took over management of the Ultravision in April, 1970 after a 2 year stint at the Richland Mall-Columbia, and can assure you that this presentation of films (especially 70MM)is absolutely the finest I have ever experienced.

ronnyriddle
ronnyriddle on July 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Bevo, I enjoyed working with you at the Richland Mall and Ultravision. The Wil-Kin folks were some of the best I have known. Perhaps someone wil get a reunion together someday.

Bevo
Bevo on July 29, 2012 at 5:52 am

Ron: I enjoyed working with you during the “good ole days” too. Had some greaat times back then. I don’t do facebook, but, if you do, there’s a Remembering Plitt Theatres page that you may be able to find some former Wilby-Kincey/ABC managers, and we can get together???

Bevo
Bevo on July 29, 2012 at 6:40 am

Ronny, contact me at .

Bev Hall

JoeMeyers
JoeMeyers on November 29, 2012 at 9:41 am

I worked at the UltraVision from 92-94 and it did have four screens (the two that were split from the original auditorium and then two smaller auditoriums were added to the back of the building at some point). I quit when I moved away but oddly enough came back to the area in the late 90s and started working at the credit union that was across Sam Rittenberg Blvd. from the theater in the early 00’s. A former coworker and I heard rumblings about it’s closing, called the manager at the time and we were allowed to come back for a visit, see the booth one last time, etc. I was still working at the credit union across the street the day they started demolishing the theater and stood in the lobby watching her go for the longest time.

Shellimcgeheegray
Shellimcgeheegray on January 31, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Joe Vogel, I know it has been many years since you made the below comment, but my Grandfather was William Bringhurst McGehee of Six Associates in Asheville, NC. People have misspelled our name forever! I stumbled upon this site while doing a search of my family on the Internet. He was a wonderful man, a brilliant architect and I miss him dearly. How delightful to know the history behind another of his designs. Your post has brought both a smile and a tear to me tonight.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 7, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Shellimcgeheegray: Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry it took so long for me to respond, but when this site was relaunched a couple of years ago all of our subscriptions to individual theater pages were canceled, so we no longer got notifications of new comments until we re-subscribed, and this is the first time I’ve been back to this page since then.

Another Cinema Treasures member found another Boxoffice article about the UltraVision Theatre in Charleston, and on this page of it there is a photo of five of the people involved in the project, including your Grandfather. The scan is a bit blurry, but I thought you would enjoy seeing it, if you haven’t already. And, perhaps for the only time, the magazine spelled your family’s name correctly in the caption.

Fans of Cinema Treasures are always glad to hear anything about the architects who designed the marvelous theaters we admire. Although I’ve never visited any of the regions where the theaters your Grandfather designed are located, I’ve been impressed by the photos I’ve seen of them, and the reports of other Cinema Treasures members who remember attending them.

KyleK
KyleK on October 11, 2014 at 8:52 pm

As stated in the caption the theatre was at least open until December of. 1994 because I saw the Santa Claus there with Tim Allen. In fourth grade, March of 1997 I saw Return of the Jedi the special edition for my birthday. I remember the Boba Fett static clings on the box office windows.

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