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The New South Music Hall / Columbia East Theaters, 7351 Garners Ferry Road: late 1980s   16 comments

Posted at 11:30 pm in Uncategorized











I really can't remember the Columbia East Theaters. I think their heyday was when I was living in Fayetteville, and when I came home during that period, I had plenty of go-to theaters closer than these. Various commenters have described how they started out as a twin theater, later expanded to a quad-plex and ended life as a $0.99 cent venue.

Commenter Dennis mentions that the building pre-existed the theaters and was once The New South Music Hall, a live music club.

Currently the building, and surrounding defunct shopping plaza, is part of the Word Of God Ministries, a church which has also rehabilitated the old Intersection Center / Sam Solomon plaza on Diamond Lane.

7351 Garners Ferry Road is an approximate address, taken from a listing for former plaza business The Talk Of The Town Hair Gallery.

(Hat tip to commenter Brent Carter)

16 Responses to 'The New South Music Hall / Columbia East Theaters, 7351 Garners Ferry Road: late 1980s'

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  1. I saw Grease here and that would've been summer of 1978.
    The building to the right of the former theater, most recently a Family Dolllar, was in the '80s an Otasco chain store.

    Midnight Rambler

    18 Mar 14 at 7:39 am

  2. "Tell Me More, Tell Me More!"


    18 Mar 14 at 8:20 am

  3. We called it "The Dollar Theatre" back then. Pretty good deal to go to a movie for a buck. I went several times but do not recall anything about the place except for how expensive the concession stand was. I guess for a buck to get in, they had to try and make money somehow. I grew up on that side of town and I remember when the land between, what was most recently Jim Hudson Buick - GMC, formally Marion Burnside Chrysler - Plymouth and Greenlawn Drive, was nothing but a big field. With that said, back in the 60's and into the early 70's there was not much of anything going east past Marion Burnside. A few houses, The A&P shopping Center where Rush's is now. A little farther out about where Zaxby's is was The Chicken Coop. Square D opened in 1972, then there was Lower Richland High School. Mostly country. In the 70's a handful of us at Lower Richland would drag race right in front of the school at lunch each day. Nobody seemed to care, even the Cop's/Highway Patrol did not bother us unless we were blatantly racing in their face. But they knew we did it. We'd start in front of the school, race towards town until we got close to Square D, turn around and race back. There was not much traffic out that far, I say far, back then. On the weekends we racers would work on our cars, tune them up, add headers, whatever and come back the next week to try again. Must have been a dozen or so of us. Stanley Shannon, Ted Price, Rusty Greene, Mac Stuck, Rusty Elliot, Barry Kaiser, Dale Knudson, Rick Wilson, can't recall others at the moment, I'll have to give that some thought. One Highway Patrolman, as they were called back then, was Bucky Harris, he would catch us now and again, but he was cool about it, he just had to do his job. Get a ticket and send you on your way. Now days, Under the jail one would go for drag racing.


    18 Mar 14 at 12:00 pm

  4. How many caught what Ted was doing when he said "Tell me more, Tell me more?" UH huh, Uh huh, on a summer night.


    18 Mar 14 at 5:08 pm

  5. If memory serves, this movie theater was similar in design to the one on Bush River Rd. They both had the most uncomfortable seats. Hard plastic with a thin cushion that numbed your butt after about an hour. Only saw a couple of films here. "Every Which Way But Loose" was one I remember.

    John R

    19 Mar 14 at 7:55 am

  6. Didn't the New South Music Hall begin in the building behind the then Pizza Hut in the 4700 block of Devine?

    Robert S.

    19 Mar 14 at 9:16 am

  7. Speaking of things that have changed on the Sumter Hiway, does ANYONE remember what the name of the Drive-In going towards Sumter was? I know their was an old Plantation style house that sat very near the screen, but this was back in the 60's through the late 70's when both were still standing.


    19 Mar 14 at 9:21 am

  8. Wasn't there a Putt-Putt somewhere around the Jackson Blvd. area? I played at one on that side of town a few times after the one on St. Andrews closed.


    19 Mar 14 at 10:36 pm

  9. Never mind. I found it on another post.....


    19 Mar 14 at 10:39 pm

  10. Homer: There was a putt-putt course at Forest Drive and Percival way back in the 60's and maybe early 70's. If you drive by the area, you can still see the remnants of the course.


    20 Mar 14 at 7:14 pm

  11. ted

    20 Mar 14 at 11:00 pm

  12. Rick- nice story about the drag racing. I used to drag race in Forest Acres. The cops there were not so cool. They literally knew me on a first name basis at the City Hall. Of course, now I realize that drag racing in a residential area is not the safest thing to do for anyone.


    21 Mar 14 at 8:46 am

  13. @Caycekid - I remember the Star-Lite Drive in but it was at the corner of Jackson Blvd. Are you talking about that one or further out Sumter Highway?

    @Cam- I know what you mean. It is a wonder we didn't get hurt or hurt someone. I drove Mustangs throughout high school, the fastest one I had was a 1970 Mach 1, 351 four speed. I could be rolling at 20 mph, stomp the gas and the tires would start smoking. One of my racing buddies, Dale Knudson made some traction bars in shop class that I bolted on, this helped somewhat but mostly just stopped a little of the wheel hop. Before that I had a 1967 289 HP four speed. That little 289 would wind up real quick. Burnt a lot of 340 Dusters and Camaros a new a--hole. I was leaving school one day and slowed to pick up a friend hitch hiking right in front of the school, and this old guy from Sumter slammed into the back of me bending the frame and totaling the car. I sold the car to another racing buddy, a little older than me, Tim Spires. All he really wanted was the motor and trans. I'm not sure what he did with it but it wasn't to long after he had a 1960's Ranchero that just screamed. He said that the engine and trans in it was not out of my 'stang, but.... Before that I had a 1972 Mustang Coupe, 351 Cleveland. It was okay but by the time '72 rolled around compression was not what it once was. It took a lot of work and money to make that car roll. After High School I had a 1970 Corvette Convertible 350/350 Muncie four speed. I believe it was 9.7 to one compression ratio. It was fast. When it lost traction, it was like being on ice. That car scared me.


    21 Mar 14 at 11:18 am

  14. Rick- Those are some nice muscle cars you mentioned. When the car companies started worrying about emissions, they really killed the power in the cars. I remember thinking that the late 70s Firebird Trans Ams should be extremely powerful (one came with a 6.6 liter motor), but even the most powerful stock motor only made about 220 horses.


    21 Mar 14 at 1:08 pm

  15. I saw some discussion on a Columbia-oriented facebook page that indicated that the unknown drive-in might have been called "The Columbia Drive-In." Some people found some references to one by that name being on Garners Ferry, but nothing showing exactly where.


    21 Mar 14 at 4:08 pm

  16. @Rick - over in Irmo we used to drag race on a part of St. Andrews Rd. that goes past the Lizards Thicket towards New Friarsgate. The Winn Dixie that was where the old Carolina Wings was, that was the staging area (and a cool place to cut donuts). There was no New Friarsgate at that time and there was nothing on that strip past the Winn Dixie. Irmo only had one cop at that time and he didn't work nights so all we had to worry about was Lexington county cruising around.

    I had a '73 Dodge Dart Sport 340. The guys that owned it before me had stripped all of the emission controls off of it and had stuffed a set of 10.5 pistons in it along with a Hemi grind cam, hi-rise intake, Hooker headers with cutouts and a huge 1000cfm Thermoquad carburetor topping it off. It was nothing that a 17 year old kid should have owned!!!!

    I can still recall some of the other kids and the cars they had. Randy had a '68 or '69 Firebird 350. Tucker had a '68 Torino 428 CobraJet. Shane had a '69 Mustang 351. Can't remember the guy's name but he had a '68 or '69 Charger with a 426 Hemi in it. The oddest one was a guy named Ben. He had an old mid-60's VW Beetle that he had crammed the drivetrain out of a Porsche under it. At the same time, my cousin had a beautiful 1970 Chevelle SS396. Talk about a car that would haul ass!!!!!!


    21 Mar 14 at 11:38 pm

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