Criterion Theater

W. Whitner Street and N. Murray Avenue,
Anderson, SC 29624

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Paramount Pictures Inc., Wilby-Kincey

Previous Names: Opera House, Anderson Theatre, Garden Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Criterion Theater

Located at 204 W. Whitner Street at the corner with N. Murray Avenue. By 1926 this was operating as the 800-seat Garden Theater.

Contributed by Lauren Grubb

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 29, 2005 at 12:39 am

Charles; Whitner Street runs East-West. The Film Daily Yearbook;1950 edition gives the address as 204 West Witner Street with a seating capacity of 787.

Lauren Durbin
Lauren Durbin on December 28, 2005 at 4:53 pm

Two other theaters operated at this location. The first was the Anderson from 1915 to 1924. The second was the Garden Theater from 1924 to 1931.

jimcom on July 28, 2007 at 9:42 am

Originally constructed as an Opera House, the Criterion, Anderson, SC
was indeed located on W. Whitner St. I worked there as an Usher,
Popcorn Machine attendant, Ticket Taker, & subsequent Asst. Mgr., from 1947 to 1950. I remember it well to this day. Very ornate in its construction, it featured a large Marble Lobby, 500-plus seats on
the Main level, with 150-plus in the Balcony area, & six Box-Seats on
either side near the stage area, which was quite large in itself with
many huge Backdrops operated by hand. Many dressing rooms were located on the 2nd level, with three (3) in the basement level. Personal Appearances (mostly Western Stars) and Vaudeville-type Shows
continued well into the 50’s. Roy Rogers was the star of the day in
1948-52 and on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays, the line waiting to buy tickets for the 7 & 9 pm shows stretched clear around the block!
For more info, contact: Jim Compton –

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