The 8 Best Historic Theaters in South Carolina!

Not much competes with the nostalgia of an old theater. These historically significant spaces served as the leading location for entertainment back in the day. Thankfully, many historic theaters across South Carolina have been well-preserved, still serving as a reminder of the state’s storied past. Catch a play, concert, and more at these 8 historic theaters in South Carolina. 

Dock Street Theatre, Charleston, SC

Touted as one of Charleston’s most haunted locales, the Dock Street Theatre is still fully functional as a playhouse. Dock Street Theatre was the first building built in America specifically to be used for performing arts, but was burned in Charleston’s Great Fire of 1740. The love for the stage and a passion for the arts ensured the theatre was rebuilt and given plenty of life to keep it thriving.

The Abbeville Opera House, Abbeville, SC

Just as magnificent today as it was a century ago, the Abbeville Opera House has seen the likes of everything from vaudeville to Broadway shows and everything in between. The town of Abbeville has a long history in the theater industry, having served as a stopover for touring shows and still playing home to a variety of performances each year. 

Sylvia Theater, York, SC

The Sylvia Theater remains an active icon in York history with regular movie screenings, musicals, concerts, and other performances throughout the year. The theater also serves as a rental space for parties, weddings, and other events.

McCelvey Center, York, SC

Home to the Lowry Family Theater, the McCelvey Center was once home to the Yorkville Female Academy in 1852. It now serves as home to the Historical Center of York County. The Lowry Family Theater continues to host musical events, including the annual Southern Sound Series. 

Town Theatre, Columbia, SC

Dating back nearly 100 years, the Town Theatre was established to encourage vocal and artistic development in the community. This family-run theatre became a place for families to not just enjoy plays, but also experience and participate in them. Today, the theatre has undergone extensive renovation and continues its mission to bring the stage to life in Columbia’s culture.

The American Theater, Charleston, SC

Having opened its doors in 1942 as a movie house, the American Theater was named to honor the men and women serving in the military. Today, movie showings are few and far between, as the space is now primarily used for private events, parties, and weddings. The classic marquee is still largely in use and is an important piece of Charleston history.

Living out all of our The Notebook dreams. 💕

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The Nickelodeon, Columbia, SC

Not to be confused with the popular kid’s TV station, the Nickelodeon pays homage to vintage theater with its eye-catching marquee and show lighting. Founded in 1979 by two local college students, the theater was formed to serve and inspire film critics and artists who loved the silver screen. Today, the theater has moved from its converted bank location to the former Fox Theater. Its screenings include a mixture of indies, special screenings, and one-off viewings throughout the year.

Movie night in my home town🍿. #A2FColumbia

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Capri Theatre, Gaffney, SC

The Capri opened its doors in 1936 as a movie house for 72 years. Since 2008, the theatre has transformed into a space for the performing arts that features improv shows and live music. It now also serves the Gaffney community as an event venue and meeting space, though its historic sign remains untouched. 

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3400 Forest Drive, Suite 57, Columbia, SC
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401 Laurel Street, Columbia, SC
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105 Caughman Road, Lexington, SC
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102 Lexington Ave, Chapin, SC
About Us: The Chapin CommunityTheatre (CCT) is a program of the Irmo-Chapin Recreation Commission. It is governed and run by a Board of Directors ... Read More
14 Mood Avenue, Sumter, SC
About Us:Organized in 1941, the Sumter Little Theatre was chartered in April 1949 as the Community Theatre. The name was changed to The Sumter Litt... Read More
325 Academy Street, Barnwell, SC
History : The history of the Barnwell County Performing Arts Center is local historical drama. The building you see before you now was originally ... Read More
1511 Main Street, Newberry, SC
History: When the Ritz opened in Newberry on October 16, 1936, The Newberry Observer ran a special feature section describing the theater in great... Read More
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126 Newberry Street, South West, Aiken, SC
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546 South Cherry Road, Suite N, Rock Hill, SC
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112 McLaurin Hall, Rock Hill, SC
As the only comprehensive collegiate arts program nationally accredited in all the arts in the State of South Carolina, public or private, the Coll... Read More
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