Colony Theatre

315 West Main Street,
Easley, SC 29640

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 21, 2014 at 4:22 am

This item about the Colony Theatre is from the November 15, 1947, issue of Motion Picture Herald:

“Construction work is nearing completion on the new Colony theatre in Easley, S. C, according to Harold Armistead, manager of the Lyric theatre who will also manage the new house. The Colony will have a capacity of 707 on two levels, and facilities will include a soda shop. Eventually a coffee shop will be added to the second floor. The Lyric and Colony are owned by Mrs. E. A. Armistead.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 18, 2014 at 5:23 am

Here is the page with Robert Boller’s drawing of the Colonial Theatre in Boxoffice of December 8, 1945. Despite the long delay in construction, the drawing looks very much the same as later photographs of the theater as actually built.

gjturner
gjturner on April 25, 2013 at 5:13 am

I WAS THE LAST OWNER OF THIS LOCATION. THE THEATRE WAS BUILT IN 1949 BY HAROLD ARMISTEAD, TWINED IN 1975 AND CLOSED IN MARCH OF 2004. THE ARMISTEAD FAMILY ALSO WAS INVOLVED THE THEATRE EXHIBITION INDUSTRY IN EASLEY PRIOR TO THE COLONY.
LIST OF OWNERSHIP: MR. HAROLD ARMISTEAD WINYAH BAY THEATRES – FAIRLANE/LITCHFIELD THEATRES UNITED ARTIST THEATRES – PROPERTY OWNED BY MR W.C. CRANE, JR. MARQUIS THEATRES – JEFF AND WENDY SNEAD G.J. TURNER ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY – GREGORY TURNER

PROPERTY IS NOW OWNED BY ROBINSON FUNERAL HOME

ANY QUESTIONS:

ashevillenc
ashevillenc on April 21, 2010 at 8:55 pm

and if im not mistaken,, that looks alot like jons car that he used to drive ( up until a few years ago!!!!) in that pic of 1984 colony, (not the bug) he still has that car in the backyard of the house to this day.

ashevillenc
ashevillenc on April 21, 2010 at 8:49 pm

joel, how are you related to my aunt percilla and her son jon armistead??? i am the grandson of the late sara and jack cook, sara was my aunt percillas sister, we lived right next door to them on east first ave in easley i can remember them telling us stories to jon working thier when he was younger, harold was aunt percillas husband if im not mistaken , i never had a chance to meet him. i sure do miss that theater, i can remember when they got the NEW movies and later on remembering when the new theater on highway 123 got the new movies , and the colony got older movies and slowley starting going downhill.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 2, 2009 at 7:09 am

The “Just Off the Boards” feature of Boxoffice Magazine, issue of December 8, 1945, includes a drawing of the Colony Theatre. The text reads in part

“…on this page (at left) is the front elevation perspective by architect Robert Boller of Kansas City, MO., for the new Colony Theatre, now under construction at Easley, S.C…..”
The drawing shows the same building seen in the photos linked in various comments above. The text also says that a local firm acted as supervising architects, but one initial of the name is unreadable in the scan of Boxoffice. The firm was W. _. Freeman, Jr. & Associates of Greenville.

Joel Armistead (comment of Oct 1, 2004, above) must have gotten an incomplete version of his family’s history. The theater his grandparents ran in Easley in the 1920s was not the Colony but the Lyric.

An article about Harold Armistead, based at least in part on an interview, was published in the October 18, 1971, issue of Boxoffice, shortly after he had sold the Colony and retired. It said that Harold Armistead’s father had come to Easley in 1923, when he bought the Lyric Theatre on Main Street. Harold Armistead was operating the Lyric at least as late as 1950, the last year in which I can find it mentioned in Boxoffice.

This article also said that Armistead had opened the Colony Theatre in 1948. As construction was reported to have been underway in late 1945, that was a very long time for building. Perhaps the 1945 Boxoffice item was premature in announcing the start of construction. There can be no doubt of the 1945 date for the Boller design, though.

There’s also a brief item in the June 7, 1947, issue of Boxoffice saying that Harold Armistead was building a $35,000 theater at Easley. As the Colony looks to have been a considerably more costly building, I think this unnamed house might have been the theater for black patrons Armistead built and operated in then-segregated Easley for a few years, which was also mentioned the 1971 article.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on June 27, 2008 at 12:42 pm

A 1986 view of the Colony Theatre in Easley and a larger view here. (All the old theaters have a resident spirit)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on February 1, 2008 at 7:05 pm

Here is the website for the current occupant:
http://www.5pointfellowship.org/

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on October 26, 2007 at 3:02 am

Almost October 31:

Easley – The Old Colony Theatre – Said to be a ghost that haunts the old Colony Theatre in downtown Easley. The theatre was built on a house were a woman hung herself. People have heard strange noises in the balcony of the Colony Theatre, and have seen a women in the window.

Lauren Durbin
Lauren Durbin on December 31, 2005 at 2:28 pm

Here is a picture of this theater that I took in the spring of 2005.

Lauren Durbin
Lauren Durbin on June 17, 2005 at 6:14 am

I found out the other day that the group restoring the theater is returning it to its original form (or at least as close as possible). Apparantly, the theater was last used as a dinner theater and was in poor shape inside.

Patsy
Patsy on June 4, 2005 at 4:02 pm

Lauren: Well, at least it escaped demolition though sometimes they are not when a church chooses to build a new addition on that same piece of land as was done in a PA town near my hometown in NYS!

Lauren Durbin
Lauren Durbin on June 4, 2005 at 3:17 pm

As of today, the Colony has escaped demolition. It is being renovated into a church ministry. The group appears to be preserving the exterior of the building.

Patsy
Patsy on December 20, 2004 at 1:51 am

The Colony sounds like it is worth saving so I hope that the community can band together and save their theatre as my hometown did not! :–(

april
april on October 29, 2004 at 7:35 pm

has anyone looked into “saveourhistory.com”? it’s part of the history channel and they are trying to save small town landmarks. I went to check it out and it said you had to have an organization (like the picken’s county museum) and needed to apply by december. I love the colony and would really like to see it saved.

April Miller
rock hill, sc

tech1947
tech1947 on October 1, 2004 at 4:40 pm

My father and his siblings owned the Colony for many years. Originally, my grandparents ran it starting in the 1920’s. I can’t believe it is being torn down. I would love to have a memento.

Joel Armistead
1461 Fox Forest Terrace
Lilburn, GA 30047

tech1947
tech1947 on October 1, 2004 at 4:40 pm

My father and his siblings owned the Colony for many years. Originally, my grandparents ran it starting in the 1920’s. I can’t believe it is being torn down. I would love to have a memento.

Joel Armistead
1461 Fox Forest Terrace
Lilburn, GA 30047

Isabella
Isabella on April 20, 2004 at 5:07 pm

It’s haunted?? I had no idea. Back when I was in college, I worked for United Artist in Greenville. They would send me to the Colony from time to time because I knew how to thread and work their 1940-ish projectors. My hubby worked there right after we were married. I so don’t want them to tear it down. It tears me apart just thinking about it.

Adam1982
Adam1982 on March 30, 2004 at 3:34 am

I, too, am disappointed. I hardly ever went to the Colony, but whenever I did go, I always had a good time. They need to do something with that building, like renovate it and fix it up and keep running movies. It’s crappy looking on the inside, but if they’d just fix it up, they’d probably do more business. I hate that they’re closing it down. It’s supposedly haunted, you know?! I’ve always wanted to see what was up that strangely mysterious stairwell…

Isabella
Isabella on March 25, 2004 at 9:15 pm

The Colony has closed its doors as of last month. Their marquee reads “Thanks Easley for 50 years” My son informs me that they are putting up a parking lot there. How on earth can someone do this???