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The Carver Theater, 1519 Harden Street: 1971(?)   6 comments

As far as I can tell, the old Carver Theater at 1519 Harden Street is currently vacant. This building was once one of the only two black theaters in Columbia during the years of Jim Crow. In the Waverly neighboorhood, and adjacent to the historically black Benedict and Allen colleges, the theater also had live talent shows as well as motion pictures.

I believe I can recall this place still being in business as a theater while I was growing up. This site says it closed in 1971 but this one suggests that it was open as late as 1974. My copy of The State movie listings for 15 April 1973 does not have an entry for The Carver, which supports the earlier date though I suppose they may not have advertised there.

There are a number of write-ups on The Carver Theater online as it is in the National Register of Historic Places. Here is one, here is another, and here is a third.

After the theater closed, the Agape Church moved in starting in 1998 and stayed for several years. The entry in the National Registry states that the current owners

are actively seeking to preserve this property as an important piece of history in Columbia and return it to its original use as a movie theater.

I certainly wish them success!

Written by ted on July 3rd, 2009

6 Responses to 'The Carver Theater, 1519 Harden Street: 1971(?)'

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  1. I jasve heard that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once gave speech in this theatre

    Tom

    4 Jul 09 at 5:31 am

  2. Does anyone know who the current owner is?

    Gordon

    7 Feb 11 at 9:50 pm

  3. Hmm. According to this link, it appears that Allen University is.

    ted

    7 Feb 11 at 10:21 pm

  4. There was another "black theater" just off Assembly Street. I think it was on Lady, just across from the old Cromer's location. Also, the old Rockafellas was originally a theater, if I remember correctly.

    Mike

    23 Sep 11 at 11:06 pm

  5. I remember that one. Looking at a 1979 newspaper, I'm thinking that was "Cine Art". By 1979, it had gone porno.

    ted

    24 Sep 11 at 12:25 am

  6. tonkatoy

    7 May 13 at 11:03 am

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