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What a Year!
Posted December 1, 2008

As we near the beginning of a new year and the promise it holds, we wanted to take a quick look over our shoulder and savor some of the joys of 2008. It began with Hollywood style glitz when we attended the opening of the South Carolina State Museum's wonderful exhibit, curated by our dear friend and noted author, Frank Thompson. "Hollywood Comes to South Carollina: A Century of Filmmaking in the Palmetto State" was an amazing experience.

In the spring, we had time to review our files and post more new theater listings and articles than we had done since the site was launched in 2005. In May, we attended a local coffee club in Mount Pleasant and met Dick King. Little did we realize he would ask us to speak to the group on our travels to record South Carolina's movie theater history. That experience has led to other speaking engagements and given us opportunities to introduce this history to a wider audience.

In July, Charleston Magazine published an article on Charleston's old movie houses. This generated an interest in my book, "Movie Theaters of Charleston: Hollywood Meets the Holy City." Since the book has been out of print for several years, Mark and I are collaborating on a new, revised edition. Publication of this "sequel" is expected in early 2009. It was also in July when we were contacted by Gretchen Roepke, granddaughter of Camden theater owner T. Lee Little. This led to a profile of Mr. Little and article on Camden theaters.

August found us on the road again. We visited Darlington, Bennettsville, Clio, McColl, Cheraw, and Chesterfield. Wow! If you could travel with us, you would realize why we do this. The people we meet are so generous with their time and resources. They are passionate about their home towns and share their knowledge with enthusiasm.

For the next two months, we added materials submitted by our web site visitors like Bill Greene, Jr., of Hardeeville, Francis Kerr, Jr., of Mount Pleasant, and Anne Dawson, of Virginia. It was an email from Anne that prompted our next road trip. In October, we made the pilgrimage to Harlem, Georgia, to visit the Laurel and Hardy Museum. That was great fun and proof that America's small towns offer an astonishing variety of adventures. We encourage you to get off the interstate and explore our country's small highways. You will discover surprising treasures.

There were many more joys that came our way in 2008. But, these are some of the highlights. We continue to collect information and photographs related to South Carolina's movie theater history. Most of all, we hope to collect a compelling history by recording the personal memories of those who were there. If you have a story to tell, we want to hear it. We want to preserve those stories that will reveal the human history to future generations. It is important to record the dates and locations of old movie theaters. But, the real story involves the time you saw your first movie, the time you and your friends sneaked into that dark theater without paying, the first time you took a date to the movies, the things that made you happy or sad or inspired. So, let us hear from you.

Hope you have a happy and prosperous 2009.

John Coles and Mark Tiedje
Movie Theaters of South Carolina

CLICK HERE to send us an email about your movie theater memories.

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