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Sottile Theatre Restoration

The College of Charleston Sottile Theatre, originally named the Gloria, was built by Albert Sottile and the Pastime Amusement Company, with construction commencing in 1922. Doors opened on August 20, 1927 with a screening of Norma Shearer's After Midnight. Originally fitted with 2,000 seats, the Gloria Theater was the largest of its kind in South Carolina and served as a vaudeville house and movie theatre. Its design replicated a smaller version of the great movie palaces of the era until its closing in 1975.

After its acquisition by the College, the historic theatre underwent an extensive refurbishment in 1986 and reopened in 1990 as the College of Charleston Sottile Theatre. The renovations preserved many of the unique features of the original facility including the illuminated blue dome and its twinkling stars, while adding features such as a modern heating and air conditioning system and an expanded stage. In early 2011, the College made additional improvements, which resulted in the discovery of two large-scale murals painted during the theatre’s construction in the 1920’s. The College has begun a restoration, already removing one mural for safekeeping and repair. The other mural has been uncovered and left hanging, its blemishes, damage, and deterioration on display to theatre patrons.

 
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