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We rely on local people to share knowledge of our common movie theater history.

Charleston, SC - September 21, 2008
We are very grateful to Francis B. Kerr, Jr., for providing information and a photograph of his father's wonderful movie theater, the Palace Theater, in Charleston, SC.

Hardeeville, SC - September 21, 2008
We received a nice email from Bill Greene, Jr., of Hardeeville, telling us that he and his family enjoy our site. We were especially delighted to hear from him since his family owned and operated so many movie theaters and Drive-Ins in South Carolina. (See Green Family Theatres of South Carolina) Yes, the Green Family and the Greene Family are the same. The spelling changed for one branch of the family a couple of generations ago.

Bill, Jr., added some new information to our site. His father, William F. "Bill" Greene, owned and operated the South 17 Drive-In in Hardeeville, with much help from his wife, Dolly. The drive-in opened in 1950 and closed around 1955. He recalled that his father regularly held raffles at the South 17 Drive-In. One of the prizes was a tank of gas from the newly opened service station of Mr. Punzel.

He also remembers a night when the film at the drive-in suddenly stopped. He and some of his young friends went to the projection booth to ask Ben, the projectionist, what was wrong. There was film all over the floor. They noticed that Ben was quite inebriated. They asked him what movie was playing. Ben replied, "Drive-In Paris, with Clarke Gable."


Williston Theater c.1947


Ramrod - showing at the Williston Theater in 1947

The Williston Theater in Williston, SC, was also owned by Bill and Dolly Greene. Bill, Jr. sent us a photograph of the Williston Theater. The photograph was most likely taken in 1947.

Thanks to Bill, we were able to add another drive-in that belonged to his father. The Ridgeland Drive-In was in Ridgeland, SC. A great-uncle of Bill, Algernon "Algie" Green, owned a movie theater in Timmonsville, SC. Bill's grandfather, Dr. J.T. Green, Sr., owned the Playland Theatre in Elloree, SC. We are hoping to determine if the Liberty Theater in Johnston, SC, was owned by Bill's uncle, Joseph "Jody" Cannon Green.

We travel around the state when we can. We spend hours in local libraries, historical societies, and Chambers of Commerce. We enjoy digging out the rich history of South Carolina's movie theaters.

One of the greatest joys is to hear from someone who has first-hand knowledge of these theaters. Hearing from people like Bill Greene, Jr., and his cousin, John T. Green, III, gives us the opportunity to record and preserve this important cultural history.

We never ask for money to maintain our site. We do not present paid advertising. But, we often ask for help from people like you, who enjoy our web site and are able to help us add to the recorded history. We ask for help in locating old photographs of the theaters that are now gone. We ask for memories and stories that we may share. This web site would not be possible without the kind and generous support of people like you. Thank you!

Arlington, VA - October 9, 2008
The following list of Silent and Classic Film Events in North Carolina and South Carolina for the month of October was submitted by Anne Dawson, a volunteer with Slapticon Film Festival and International Buster Keaton Society.

Library of Congress’ National Audio-Visual Conservation Center opens in Culpeper, VA
19053 Mount Pony Road,
Culpeper, VA. 22701-7551
Tel. 202-707-5840
Website: www.loc.gov/avconservation
Oct & part of Nov, 2008: Classic films screened for the public on Tuesdays at 7pm, Fridays at 7:30pm, and Saturdays at 2pm (no repeats - each show is a different film.) Auditorium seats 200 people.
Free admission, but you must call them no earlier than a week in advance to reserve a seat: 540-827-1079, x79994 and leave this information: date(s) of show(s), film title, your name, and number of seats desired (4 max per call). If you come without a reservation, ask the box office staff for “stand by” tickets (available 10 min before show). No “saving” seats for friends. Kids under 12 yrs must be acccompanied by adult. Spaces for 3 wheelchairs. Theatre opens 30 min before show. No food or drink in theatre.

Sat., Oct. 11, 7:30pm - The Passion of Joan d’Arc (1928) - Cary, NC
The Concert Singers of Cary present the 1928 silent film, The Passion of Joan d’Arc, w/ live accompaniment by the 115-person choir with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lawrence Speakman, 4 vocal soloists, and a soprano/alto quartet portraying the voice of Joan. At the Westwood Baptist Church, 200 Westhigh Street, Cary, NC 27513 (about 30 min west of Raleigh). Tel. 919-469-9393. Website www.westwoodbc.org. Tickets $15, can be purchased on-line.
Directed by Carl Dreyer, this film tells the story of “the 1431 “trial” and execution of the 19-year-old who, encouraged by saintly voices, successfully lead the French against the occupying English.” An original release of the film was destroyed in a warehouse fire. Mr. Dreyer thought the film was lost. In 1981, a copy of the original print was found in a closet in a mental institution.

Sun., Oct 19 - Last day of South Carolina filmmaking exhibition - Columbia, SC
“Hollywood comes to South Carolina - A Century of Filmmaking in the Palmetto State”, curated by historian Frank Thompson. State Museum, 301 Gervais St., Columbia, SC 29201.
Web www.museum.state.sc.us/exhibits/hollywood.aspx. Admission $3 + regular museum admission.

Sat., Oct 25, 7pm - Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) - Carrboro, NC
Nic Beery and the Century Center Cinema present the Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) w/ Lon Chaney. Live accompaniment by Erich Lieth on grand piano. Century Hall in The Century Center, corner of Weaver St and N. Greensboro St. Tickets $4. Free popcorn and soda! Tel 883-7472. Website www.centurycentercinema.com.

Mon., Oct 27, 7pm - Phantom of the Opera (1925) - Charlotte, NC
Pianist Ethan Uslan plays to Phantom of the Opera (1925) starring Lon Chaney, at the ImaginOn, The Joe and Joan Martin Center, 300 E. Seventh St., Charlotte, NC 28202. Tel. 704-973-2780. Website www.imaginon.org. Call for ticket information.

2009

Restored Charley Chase silent comedies DVD set to be released Jan 2009 by David Kalat’s All Day Entertainment. Web: www.alldayentertainment.com. Includes music by many of silent film musicians.

Sat., Apr 4, 2009 - The General (1927) with Dennis James (theatre organ) and the National Symphony Orchestra. Tickets $25 - $60 (start saving now!) Kenney Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC. Web: www.kennedy-center.org/nso.

BLACK CINEMA STAMPS
The U.S. Post Office issued new stamps of vintage movie posters in July 2008 to honor 5 films by Black directors and actors: The Sport of Gods (1921), Hallelujah (1929), Black and Tan (1929), Princess Tam-Tam (1935), and Caldonia (1945). The stamps are on sale at your local post office now!.

OSCAR MICHEAUX FILMED IN ROANOKE, VIRGINIA!

Paraphrased from The Roanoke Times, www.Roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/176522
In Sept 2008, an historical marker was erected on Henry Street in Roanoke, VA to honor Afro-American filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. The Micheaux Film Corporation made at least 6 films in Roanoke during 1923 - 1925. Micheaux “is internationally recognized as the first black man to direct a feature-length film.”

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