South Carolina Picture Project

Theatre on the Green – Cheraw, South Carolina


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On Christmas morning of 1920 the residents of Cheraw received a novel gift from local pharmacist John Ladd, who opened the town’s first movie theater on that day. Ladd called the silent movie house on the Town Green the Lyric Theater, charging visitors 11 cents a ticket. Legend has it that Cheraw native Dizzy Gillespie got a job at the Lyric catching young people sneaking into the theater – after he was caught doing the same thing.

Theatre on The Green

David Sides of Cheraw, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

In 1929 people were treated to the theater’s first talking picture, The Broadway Melody. Ticket prices jumped to 25 cents by the beginning of WWII, and the venue became known as the Cheraw Theater. The business continued to draw audiences through the decades, though it changed hands several times. By the 1980s the theater was called the Cheraw Cinema, and the brick building which once created such a buzz on a Christmas morning in 1920 closed its doors in 1987. The following year the building was purchased by the Cheraw Development Corporation, and the old movie house reopened as the Theatre on the Green, a performance arts center and community gathering place.

SCIWAY thanks Cheraw’s Director of Tourism and Community Development, David Sides, for the above photo and much of the information.



Theatre on the Green Info


Address: 200 Market Street, Cheraw, SC 29520
GPS Coordinates: 34.696803,-79.883767

Theatre on the Green Map



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The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Theatre on the Green, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!


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The South Carolina Picture Project is a volunteer project which earns no profit. We work hard to ensure its accuracy, but if you see a mistake, please know that it is not intentional and that we are more than happy to update our information if it is incorrect. That said, our goal is to create something positive for our state, so please make your comments constructive if you would like them to be published. Thank you!








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