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National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

Carver Theatre

Carver Theatre

Columbia, South Carolina

1519 Harden Street

The early to middle 20th century was a time when Columbia’s black community was officially segregated and denied service at white-owned businesses. The Carver Theatre was important to the community because it was one of only two theaters where African Americans were free to go to the movies. The theater was built circa 1941 next to the Waverly community, the pre-eminent black neighborhood of professionals, physicians, nurses, educators, ministers, and skilled tradesmen. Not only were movies shown here, but the theater also had weekly talent shows, patterned after the famous "Amateur Hour" in Harlem, for young people in the area. Because of its history and importance to the neighborhood, Carver Theatre was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on July 17, 2003.

Photo: Carver Theatre
– Courtesy South Carolina State Historic Preservation Office

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