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Sylvia Theater - York, SC

The Sylvia Theater
The Most Unique Theater in South Carolina

While the larger music industry debates the financial impact of mpegs and ipods, real music is alive and exciting at this visceral venue. Devoted fans travel to this magical place to hear and meet their favorite musicians. Their experiences are excellent as anyone can discover by reading the “Comments” page at the Sylvia Theater’s website. And, it’s not just the audience that’s raving about their entertainment experience. Some of the performers have commented on their positive experiences as well.

The Sylvia Theater offers a comfortable and intimate space which is ideal for live performances. And, what an amazing history of performances this little theater has managed to build in only three years. Poco, Doc Watson, Leon Redbone, Leon Russell, Edwin McCain, Richie Havens, Sarah-Lee Guthrie, Al Stewart, and more have played to joyous fans.

Local and regional musicians are received just as joyfully. This month is full of exciting performances including Mieka Pauley, who has been nominated for “Female Singer/Songwriter of the Year” by the 2005 Boston Music Awards; Neighbors' Acres, a band that, according to Bluegrass Jam, “draws heavily from Jazz, Django tunes, Blues, Bluegrass, African beats and adds a dash of Dead in the mix”; New Covenant Trio with Debbie Kelly, Jeanie Baldwin, and Jody Green “Sharing God's Amazing Grace Through Song”; and, Mark Selby and Tia Sillers who have both written songs recorded by the Dixie Chicks and others.

Sylvia Theater, York, SC

Sylvia Theater
27 N. Congress Street - York, SC

The Sylvia Theater recently introduced the "Three Song Opener" or TSO. Some of the name acts playing at the Sylvia will be preceded by an opening act performing only 3 songs. This gives the audience a quick look at promising local or regional artists.

This theater thrives on community involvement. One planned activity is the “Sylvia’s Artist Walk” which will provide artists, particularly York County Artists, and unique vendors, a place to sell and promote their work.

Recognizing the cultural diversity of contemporary York, SC, the Sylvia Theater presents a December performance called Christmas Fantasy, a bilingual event that displays Latin-American Christmas traditions, music and dances.

And, if that wasn’t enough, there’s a film festival in the works. The Sylvia Film Festival is a showcase for independent film makers. The "Festival" recognizes and honors independent film makers whose works touch our hearts and open our minds to the virtue of their artistic expression.

No wonder that, Aida Rogers, writing in Sandlapper Magazine, said, “Maybe the most unique restored theater in the state is the Sylvia Theater in York.” The Sylvia Theater’s owner is Paul Finnican. Dan Huntley, of the Charlotte Observer, wrote, “Finnican says he loves bringing the Sylvia back to life and is looking for ways to bring people back inside the theater that was darkened for over a quarter century. Now he’s doing just that by offering a schedule of the best movies ranging from first run films to old favorites with lots of movies for kids.

There is much more to tell about the Sylvia Theater. We suggest you check out their website and click on “Travel Directions” because you’re going to want to experience the Sylvia Theater for yourself.

Click Here to visit the Sylvia Theater website

Sylvia Theater
27 N. Congress Street
Official Web Site: http://secondwindmusic.com/ST/

The Sylvia Theater was a source of joy to the York community. The last time the building was used for entertainment, was in 1968...it has gone through many "metamorphosed" incarnations...as a movie house, a hotel, a storage building and as a teacher's supply shop.

Paul Finnican came to York to close on a business loan deal sometime in the summer of 2001. He saw this "diamond in the rough" building in the revitalized downtown area of York, immediately fell in love and started asking questions. Paul saw the unrealized potential and architectural integrity of the 100 year old building, coupled that with his desire to provide a venue for the singer-songwriter in this particular area and proceeded to purchase and personally renovate it. After completely redoing the interior and adding some nice touches, like re-sawing some of the beautiful, 100 year old beams to make the stage floor and bartop, The Sylvia Theater has been brought back to her well deserved status as a place to enjoy the arts. The true nature of this venue has been brought to fruition by the tireless work of Paul, his family and friends, and by the well wishing and earnest folks of the York community.

Reference Materials:

"The Show Goes On: Classic Movie Theaters Still Bring in the Crowds"
by Aida Rogers, Sandlapper Magazine, Spring - 2005

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