Southgate Cinema

1631 Gordon Highway,
Augusta, GA 30906

Unfavorite 2 people favorited this theater

Help us make this street view more accurate

Please adjust the view until the theater is clearly visible. more info

Southgate Cinema

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Southgate Cinemas was located in Augusta, in Southgate Shopping Center. It was a nice single screen theatre with great seats, a large marquee, and a dual projection booth.

Any Southgate moviegoer will tell you that the screen and theatre were both fine, but the concession stand was the pits. In fact, as lobbies go, one of the worst ever. And the restrooms were very tiny.

It opened on Friday, December 18, 1970 with the classic "Love Story" starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal. This film played at Southgate Cinema for several months.

A story floated in movie theater world that Southgate was quickly built to keep Jerry Lewis Twin Theatres out of town. That’s right, Jerry Lewis was actually in the theatre business during the late-1960’s and early-1970’s! Augusta was on the map for one of his theatres until Southgate was quickly built.

Southgate played a lot of United Artists movies — almost all the 007’s played there along with the first X-rated movie to play in a suburban theatre, "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls". Southgate also played "Hello Dolly" and "Soylent Green" had a long run there.

The theater seated I guess close to 500 people, and it stayed open until the late-1990’s when it was reduced to a dollar cinema. Today it’s a church.

While playing golf in Augusta, Christopher Lee attended the 1st Augusta showing of "Man With A Golden Gun". He writes in his bio that he drove down I-20 from Atlanta to Augusta. Most stars fly into Augusta – Christopher Lee took a limo. I should’ve gotten down there but at the time I wasn’t yet driving!

Southgate Theatre was a Georgia Theatre, and did switch to United Artists for awhile until Georgia Theatres (in reorganization) got back in the Augusta market. And like all Georgia Theatre Co. theatres, they never played late shows!

Ellen Carter managed Southgate Cinema for 19 years. She was there during the first run films, and sadly closed the theatre with "Supercop" – all seats one dollar.

I believe all projection equipment is still in the theatre, and I assume the screen is still up. However, Georgia Theatres has a history of butchering a theatre once they move out. So the screen could be gone since it’s now a church. Guess I could drive over and check it out. I think there would be a market on that side of town for a theatre, but I also think the people that would attend would quickly tear it up.

Contributed by Mike Rogers

Recent comments (view all 40 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 19, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Jan 1 1993 playing “UNDER SIEGE'.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Jan 31 1993 playing “TRESPASS”. a concession special COKE,POPCORN and Candy 99 cents each…..

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 19, 2012 at 5:07 pm

March 20 1993 playing “NO WHERE TO RUN”.

Dec 23 1994 has “JASON’s LYRIC” showing.

suesue
suesue on July 2, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Ok Mike…I have a question for you since you seem to remember so much about Southgate :) My mother was Ellen Carter and we were talking the other day about the theater and couldn’t remember the exact day it closed. Do you remember?

Thanks

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm

She was playing “SUPERCOP” i have the picture from the paper,Can’t recall the date, could archieve it from the Chroncile if you really wanted to know

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I bet all the projection equipment was left there, it was one the few booths i never got to see inside of.SUe. IF she has pictures I would love to have copies..

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 26, 2012 at 3:52 pm

i have a bunch of theatre pictures on my FACEBOOK,some of Ga.theatre Folks even thought i never worked for Ga.theatres..

bcordy
bcordy on March 30, 2013 at 1:56 am

Saw a 1988 reissue of “The Fox and the Hound” here with my dad as a kid. Twice. Used to work in this shopping center not long after the theater closed down.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 3, 2013 at 5:34 pm

thanxs bcordy…..

ArdentGuy
ArdentGuy on July 4, 2016 at 3:33 am

I worked at Southgate Cinema from May of 1971 until September of 1972. I was 17 years old. I loved the movies and enjoyed working at a “real” theater. Mr. Andrews was the manager then. Mr. Griffith was the projectionist. It was a union projection booth that I was rarely allowed to enter. The box office was a tiny booth that had an exterior window (to the right of the doors) for selling tickets. There was a stairway behind the box office that led to the projection booth and the managers office. The box office lady was related to Mr. Griffith — I believe it was his daughter-in-law. Mr. Griffith’s son (I think it was his son) was also a projectionist and filled in occasionally.

The auditorium was draped in gold curtains. Access to the speakers and storage area behind the screen was to the right of the screen.

My favorite movie from my time working there was Goodbye, Columbus (1969). Goodbye, Columbus was re-released during the summer of 1971 to capitalize on the success of Love Story. The tag line for Goodbye, Columbus was “Every Father’s Daughter is a Virgin”. Mr. Andrews refuse to let this line appear on the marquee and instead ordered me to put up “That Love Story Girl is Back!”

Mr. Andrews and Mr. Griffith would view the film before opening day looking for any nudity or obscenities. Mr. Griffith would cut objectionable material from the film, saving the trims on this editing desk. Before returning the print to the studio, the excised footage would be restored. In the days of 35mm film, there were often splices just before and after nudity scenes as many theaters across the county would cut and restore “objectionable” material from the prints.

Adam West and Burt Ward walked into Southgate Cinema one night. They came late, 30 minutes after the start of the last showing. I was alone in the lobby and sold them tickets and concessions. When they told me who they were, I didn’t believe them. They insisted that they were actually Batman and Robin. I asked them to show me their driver’s licenses. They did. It was them!

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater