The recent column by Charles Lord on the demise and future of the Columbia Theatre in Harlem by county historian Charles Lord misses the boat by a few feet.
To blame the closing of this theater because of suburban theaters is just plain wrong. By 1963 the old Columbia Theatre was on its last legs, and there were no suburban theaters!
Daniel Village and National Hills both opened in the mid to late 1960s. The remaining cinemas all opened in the 1970s. In 1963 there was no Columbia Square 1 and 2 in Martinez. There was a cow pasture with a creek running through it.
The main reason the Columbia Theatre closed was most likely television. If any other theaters caused the Harlem theater to go dark, it would have been theaters in Wrens, Warrenton and Thomson, which had three screens including a drive-in. By 1963, two of Augusta's downtown theaters had closed.
I won't even mention the list of area drive-ins that were closing at an alarming rate!
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