Historic theater in Fort Mill to see new life with redevelopment

Rendering of the renovated theater.
Rendering of the renovated theater.

A theater on Fort Mill’s Main Street that’s almost 70 years old will soon be redeveloped into a mixed-use building, Kuester Commercial Real Estate said this week.

The Old Centre Theatre opened in 1947 and closed in the 1970s. A fire in 1990s did significant damage to part of the building, leaving a portion just the shell.

Construction is planned to begin in early June. The portion of the building that opens to Academy Street will include about 6,300 square feet of loft-style offices, with open ceiling and exposed brick. The Main Street part of the building will become retail and restaurant space totaling almost 7,000 square feet, including patio space.

The building’s dual entrances are a relic of a racially divided past: The theater’s Academy Street door was originally a segregated entrance.

“As someone who grew up in Fort Mill, I’m so excited to see the Old Centre Theatre repurposed to once again become a vibrant part of the community,” said owner Chip Smith in a statement.

Two tenants, EW Process and Insight Business Solutions, will move into the office portion when it’s completed. Kuester is seeking tenants for the rest of the building.

“The redevelopment of the Old Centre Theatre will be a unique opportunity to save a portion of Fort Mill’s history and position it for its future success,” said F. Shaw Kuester III.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo