Astro Twin Theaters

720 S. Pleasantburg Drive,
Greenville, SC 29609

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The original 700-seat Astro Theatre opened in Greenville, SC in 1967 with a 70mm reissue of “Gone With the Wind”. Built by visionary entrepreneur Heyward Morgan, the Astro Theatre featured space-age decor with vaulted ceilings embedded with twinkling stars and a lunar relief.

Despite objections that no location could sustain more than one screen, Morgan added the Astro II in approximately 1969; the combined auditoriums seated over 1,000 patrons, and were later joined by a sister theater, the Astro III in Clemson, South Carolina.

Astro I premiered many 70mm releases and, during the early-1970s, was the only theater in Upstate South Carolina where could be seen such releases as “Patton-Lust for Glory”, “Deliverance”, “The Godfather”, “The Exorcist” and “Jaws”; boxoffice sellouts were common weekend occurences. The world premier of Burt Lancaster’s “The Midnight Man”, filmed in Clemson SC, was held at the Astro Theatre in 1974.

The jewel in the South Carolina crown of Martin Theaters of Georgia for some two decades, the Astro Twin closed its doors in the late-1980’s, overtaken by the modern tide of multiplexes. The last film definitely known to have shown in the Number One auditorium was “Star Trek IV, The Voyage Home” (this is anecdotal and may not be conclusive).

Contributed by James Scott

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 23, 2010 at 3:56 am

The Astro Theatre was expected to be completed in time for a Thanksgiving Day opening in 1967, according to Boxoffice of August 28 that year. The 700-seat, single-screen theater would feature D-150 projection, and was being erected at a cost of $350,000. The architect of the Astro Theatre was Joe W. Hiller.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 23, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Thanks James for a good story. I have a one-sheet on “MIDNGHT MAN” I assume Burt Lancaster was there for the world premier.

AndyCallahanMajorMajor on December 6, 2010 at 6:00 pm

The theater is at about 720 S. Pleasantburg Drive, right behind the bowling alley. The building is still intact, down to the GCC-esque signage over the door.

AndyCallahanMajorMajor on December 14, 2010 at 10:54 am

I spoke too soon. I was in Greenville over the weekend and this place has been demolished. You can still see it on Bing, for whatever it’s worth.

JimPoole on February 23, 2011 at 6:45 pm

I remember going to the Astro in Greenville during the late 70’s.. they showed STAR WARS on teusdays for a buck per person for a while. My friends and I made a habit of it. It’s great to discover
this web site for people who cherish the theater and the memories.

Coate on February 23, 2011 at 11:12 pm

The Astro Twin’s engagement of Star Wars lasted 22 weeks. An impressive run for a city the size of Greenville.

alibby on February 24, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Midnight Man premiered at three different theaters on the same evening. Early evening it premiered at the Osteen in Anderson (near where portions of the film were shot) and the Astro III in Clemson. Co-producer Roland Kibbee and female lead Susan Clark were on hand for the Clemson premiere. There was but one screening that evening. Following the opening credits in Clemson, Kibbee and Clark traveled to Greenville, for the premiere held at the Astro I later that evening. Burt Lancaster was at neither that evening.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on February 24, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Wow,no Burt,By that time sadly,Lancaster was working to pay bills,Still love the one sheet,thanks for the update on Lancaster. I think if you watch,“EXECUTIVE ACTION” Burt is wearing a Clemson Tiger Hat.Bet he got while in Carolina.

RPulliam on June 24, 2013 at 5:29 pm

JimPoole mentioned seeing “Star Wars” there. I was home from a four-year tour of duty overseas in the late summer of 1977. I saw “Star Wars” there, too. Wasn’t very impressed, mainly because the sound wasn’t good. A month later, I was in Washington DC. Took one more chance on “Star Wars” and saw it in 70mm and Dolby sound. BLEW ME AWAY. It should have done that at the Astro, but for some reason, they didn’t have Dolby sound.

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