The Grand Theatre

Title

The Grand Theatre

Subject

Building/business history

Description

The history of Charles Drace's Grand Theatre

Text

1898: L. J. Green and Son Lumber and Shingle Yard

The 1898 Sanborn fire map shows the lumber yard, but it was gone by the 1904 and 1911 maps; the lot appears vacant, with houses on either side of it.

1922: Grand Theatre Moving Pictures

Charles W. Drace, the photographer responsible for much of our early photographic record of Greer, built the Grand Theatre. At the street front there were two doors; to the right was the entrance to "Mister Charlie's" store, which sold musical instruments and Victrolas. The other, just on the left side, was the entrance to the theater. This was a hallway down the side of the building; the theater itself was behind the store. There was a second floor, which was Drace's photo studio. Behind the theater seating was a 3-story stage; and, by October 1922, a large extension annex had been added behind that.

By the 1930 map, a door had been cut in the left side of the theater hall entrance and another little store added in the space that is now Abbott's Custard. The annex in the back is labeled as a sign printing company.

By 1951, the Grand remained on the map, still with the original layout of a store to the right and the hallway entrance to the left. The little side store was gone and replaced with the current Abbott's building. The sign shop is now simply listed as storage.

The Grand after Charlie

Charles Drace died in 1928. He had two sons, Kramer and William, who worked in the theatre. We have a photograph of an advertising sign Kramer made around 1933; but it was Bill who really took over and ran the theater for the next several decades.

Now: an alley

Where the great Grand Theater stood is now (June 2020) an alleyway between Abbott's Custard and Barista Alley.

Geolocation