The Astro

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The Astro was a movie theater in downtown Clemson. It usually featured movies that had been out for a few weeks already, but you could see them at the low price of $2. They featured three movies at a time. Occasionally, they had a movie out for its opening day. The Astro was located on College Avenue across from Hubbard-Young Pharmacy and Allens' Creations - Frame & Art Gallery, down from the Fort Hill Presbyterian Church.

The theatre opened as a single movie house on January 21, 1971, with a red carpet showing of Tora, Tora, Tora, ("Tiger, Tiger, Tiger" in Japanese). At that time it was owned by Star Theatres of Greenville. Unfortunately after 30 years of operation, Clemson's Astro Triple closed its doors forever after the last movie on Thursday, August 7th, 2008. The operators have seen a decline in attendence in recent years.

The Astro Triple was operated by Carmike Cinemas district office, 1727 8A Suite, 357 Sardis Road North, Charlotte, North Carolina, 28270-2402, 704-849-0192, [email protected]

  • By Anna Simon
    • CLEMSON BUREAU
  • CLEMSON -- Performing arts students at Clemson University want to save a landmark theater in the college town and have an ally -- the mayor. The students want to save the Astro, a movie theater that has been part of the community for decades and recently closed its doors after 37 years. Students want it to continue as a movie house and also to be a center for performing arts in the community, said Anna Chovanec, a Clemson senior. They feared it would be demolished and replaced by condominiums, she said. They made saving the theater part of their senior project. "We decided to talk to the mayor about it and see if he could give us any information on the closure and the likelihood of getting it opened," Chovanec said. Clemson Mayor Larry Abernathy also wants to save the theater as a city performing arts center for movies and live entertainment. He wants it for the city and is trying to contact a Mount Pleasant family that owns it and had rented it to Carmike Cinemas, he said. The theater had been a full-price movie house with new releases in its early days, Abernathy said. Over the years, the business started showing second-run movies, at first for $1 admission and in more recent years for $2. "The really good movies were rarely more than two weeks behind showings in the first-run houses," Abernathy said. "It was a great bargain and, more important, a vital part of this community." Abernathy wants to see that history continue. The students are at work on a November street festival with musicians and other entertainment and family-oriented events to show the community's desire to save the theater. The exact date hasn't been set, Chovanec said. While this class of Clemson students won't "see the fruits of our labor" because they graduate soon, "it's to benefit future generations and allow future students at Clemson to be able to enjoy what we have enjoyed -- going to the Astro and having that in our community," Chovanec said.

In June 2011, the building is posted as being for sale.

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