Southgate Cinema

1631 Gordon Highway,
Augusta, GA 30906

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Southgate Cinema

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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 39 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Drove Southgate today, Funny the whole world is watching the MASTERS about 8 miles up the road from Southgate,What depressed part of Town, looks like CLARLY CHAPEL was on the marquee,from what i could make of it,looks like the church has even left Southgate.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 19, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Jan 1 1993 playing “UNDER SIEGE'.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 19, 2012 at 2:06 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 2:07 pm

March 20 1993 playing “NO WHERE TO RUN”.

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

suesue on July 2, 2012 at 11:33 am

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?


Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 26, 2012 at 12:49 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 12:51 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 12:52 pm

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

bcordy on March 29, 2013 at 10:56 pm

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 2:34 pm

thanxs bcordy…..

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