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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Columbia in Richland County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Carver Theatre

 
 
Carver Theatre Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, March 28, 2012
1. Carver Theatre Marker
Inscription. Carver Theatre, built about 1941, was one of Columbia’s two exclusively African-American theatres during the segregation era of the mid-20th century. It was run by black operators but owned by the white-owned Dixie Amusement Company for most of its history. Carver Theatre also hosted weekly talent shows based on the popular “Amateur Hour” in Harlem. The theatre, which closed in 1971, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.
 
Erected 2012 by The Historic Columbia Foundation, The City of Columbia, and the S.C. Department of Transportation. (Marker Number 40-140.)
 
Location. 34° 0.633′ N, 81° 1.291′ W. Marker is in Columbia, South Carolina, in Richland County. Marker is on Harden Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1519 Harden Street, Columbia SC 29204, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Lighthouse & Informer / John H. McCray (within shouting distance of this marker); Allen University (within shouting distance of this marker); Waverly (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Benedict College
Overview image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, March 28, 2012
2. Overview
(about 800 feet away); Visanska-Starks House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Matthew J. Perry House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fair-Rutherford House / Rutherford House (approx. ¼ mile away); "Chesnut Cottage" (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbia.
 
More about this marker. Even though the marker states it was erected in 2011, it was not installed until 2012.
 
Regarding Carver Theatre. National Register of Historic Places:
Carver Theatre (added 2003 - - #03000658)
1519 Harden St. , Columbia
♦ Historic Significance: Event
♦ Area of Significance: Black
♦ Period of Significance: 1950-1974, 1925-1949
♦ Owner: Private
♦ Historic Function: Recreation And Culture
♦ Historic Sub-function: Theater
♦ Current Function: Religion
♦ Current Sub-function: Religious Structure

The Carver Theatre is significant for its association with the history of Columbia’s black community in the early-to-mid-twentieth century. It was built ca. 1941, and was one of only two exclusively
Overview image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, March 28, 2012
3. Overview
African American movie theatres in Columbia. Since the other theatre, the Capitol Theatre, has been demolished, the Carver Theatre is the only extant motion picture theatre where African Americans could freely go to the movies. The Carver Theatre was adjacent to the Waverly community, the pre-eminent African American neighborhood in Columbia. Members of the community have vivid recollections of the Carver Theatre. Not only were movies shown here, but also weekly talent shows, patterned after the famous “Amateur Hour” in Harlem, for young people in the area. The theatre is a two-story brick commercial building, rectangular in shape, with a flat roof and a vertical marquee over the front entrance. The building is of brick construction, laid in five to one common bond, ornamented with stucco only over the front façade. The interior of the building reflects its use as a movie theatre from the early 1940s through 1971. The first floor has been renovated and the original seating removed, but the floor retains its original slant. The balcony contains the original seating and lighting. The mosaic floor and the ticket window in the lobby are original. Listed in the National Register July 17, 2003.(South Carolina Department of Archives and History)
 
Categories. African AmericansEntertainment
 
Carver Theatre Marker, at right image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 28, 2012
4. Carver Theatre Marker, at right
Carver Theatre Marker seen along 1500 block Harden Street image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 28, 2012
5. Carver Theatre Marker seen along 1500 block Harden Street
Carver Theatre image. Click for full size.
South Carolina Department of Archives and History., circa 2003
6. Carver Theatre
Carver Theatre Interior image. Click for full size.
South Carolina Department of Archives and History, circa 2003
7. Carver Theatre Interior
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 28, 2012, by Anna Inbody of Columbia, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 555 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 28, 2012, by Anna Inbody of Columbia, South Carolina.   4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on March 28, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Mike Stroud was the editor who published this page.
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