1519 Harden Street1519 Harden Street
Constructed in 1942 by William Crosland for $16,826, this theater was named for Dr. George Washington Carver, an agricultural scientist and professor at Tuskegee Institute. Its opening night featured the Western “Dark Command” starring John Wayne. One of only two movie theaters built exclusively for African American patrons, it proved popular with students attending nearby Allen University and Benedict College.
Historically, the theater anchored a block that featured several important black businesses, including: a Victory Savings Bank branch; the Lighthouse & Informer newspaper; the Royal Motel; and the Collins building, owned by community leader, Dr. A.J. Collins. In addition to Collins’ dentistry practice and the office of the Colored State Fair (occasionally called the Palmetto State Fair), the building housed the College Flower Shop, Majestic Studio, and the Cozy Inn Restaurant, which appeared in the Negro Travelers’ Green Book from 1947 until 1967. Carver Theatre closed in 1962.