Imperial Theatre

Originally built for vaudeville, the Imperial Theatre opened in 1918 as The Wells, Augusta’s Theatre Beautiful. Since then, everyone from Charlie Chaplin to Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings has graced the theatre’s stage. Just as its iconic marquee has become one of downtown’s most recognizable landmarks, the theatre has woven itself into Augusta’s culture as home to The Augusta Players, Morris Museum of Art’s Budweiser True Music Southern Soul & Song series, Dance Augusta and the Poison Peach Film Festival.

The Wells, Augusta's Theatre Beautiful was built for the presenting of vaudeville and photoplays to the community by Mr. Jake Wells. The Theatre opened on Monday, February 18, 1918. After the acquisition of several other local theatres by Lynch Enterprises, The Wells Theatre's was changed to The Imperial Theatre. Throughout the early 1900s, the theatre continued to provide the city of Augusta and the surrounding area with great entertainment. Included in this bill of fare was Leo Carrillo who later became the Cisco Kid's partner, Poncho; and the famous ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. It is in the Broad Street Historical District and is listed on the National Register as important to the character of the entire district. Although it is a certainty that a large number of celebrities of the day must have graced the stage of the theatre only a few are documented in the Imperial Theatre's archives. Among the earliest recorded appearances was the visit of Charlie Chaplin, who appeared at the theatre on April 18, 1918, selling Liberty war bonds. Today, the historic Imperial Theatre serves as downtown Augusta's home for the performing arts. Audiences can see Ballet, Broadway Plays and Musicals, Concerts from both local and international artists and more on the Imperial stage.

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