Early moving or motion picture shows were first
presented in Brevard in 1907 by W.M. Bradley and Company. Bradley offered moving pictures during the
summer months for about four years. They
were shown in the Dunn’s Rock Building on South Broad Street.
In 1911 motion pictures were offered at the Court
House, with the money earned going into a fund for clocks to be installed in
the Court House tower.
Beginning in 1912 picture shows were presented in
the Auditorium on the second floor of a new building on West Main Street.
A 1919 article in the Brevard News mentions that
there are two moving picture houses in Brevard.
Vern Clement was the movie operator at the Auditorium. His brother, Ted, operated a theater on the
third floor of the Aethelwold Hotel. These
were all silent movies as sound was not introduced to feature films until 1927.
|The Clemson Theater, 1930s.|
On June 17-18, 1929 Verne and Ted Clement showed the
first “talking pictures” in their theater on the corner of West Main and
Caldwell Streets. It was reported, “The
Clemson, is the center of attraction just now, large crowds having attended
Monday’s and Tuesday’s performances to hear and see the all-talking
The Clemson Theater got its
name from Clement and Sons. Frank
Clement operated a jewelry and photo shop in the building with his sons’
|Clemson & Co-Ed Theaters, 1941|
In 1938 the Clements bought the building next door
to their theater and renovated it. On
June 26, 1939 the modern, air conditioned Co-Ed Theater opened. It included a side entrance with a separate
ticket office and balcony seating for colored people.
Bryan Shiflet, Vernon Davis and C.B. Carter
purchased the Clemson and Co-Ed Theaters in 1942. Carter soon bought his
partners out. He sold the buildings to the
City of Brevard in 1980.
The Clemson had closed in 1956. After years of neglect, efforts were made by
the Arts Council to renovate the Clemson in mid-1980s. It was soon discovered to be too costly
though. The building was demolished in mid
to late 1990s and the property remains as a green space downtown.
Today the old Co-Ed Theater is known as Falls Theater.
The Local History Room at the Library is interested
in photographs or information about drive-in theaters in Transylvania County.
and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina
Room, Transylvania County Library. Visit the NC Room during regular
library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our history and see
additional photographs. For more information, comments or suggestions
contact Marcy at [email protected] or