Thursday, February 11, 2016

More Memories of the Big Brown Box

Last October we posted some memories of the Greenville Memorial Auditorium, affectionately known by locals back in the day as "the big brown box." Our good friend Donald Holbrook from Greenville, SC sent us some of his memories of the auditorium as well. Don's mother was an employee there and worked the ticket office, including Monday nights for Mid-Atlantic Wrestling. Don spent many Monday nights there as a kid with great access because of his Mom's job.

Don's note to me referred to the photograph above:

Take a close look. No canopy out front (as you see in this picture). That's because they added it in the early 70's so all those sell out crowds they used to have wouldn't get wet waiting for the doors to open. The little grass island in front was removed along the same time the canopy was built. And lastly, look at the marquee. Pre-Mid Atlantic Wrestling days...  "All Star Wrestling" and "Southern Tag Team " No doubt would have been Weaver & Becker vs. Hawk & Hansen most likely!! 

I miss this place, it was such a fun place. My life was enriched having had the chance to spend much of my childhood there. Memories I will cherish forever.

We have a section still hosted on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Archive dedicated to the many classic old venues. There is lots of memorabilia related to the old Greenville Auditorium there, much of which was provided by Don himself. Check it out when you have a chance.

One of my favorite pieces of memorabilia Don has in his collection is this old parking token for the Memorial Auditorium parking lot.

From Don - 

Back in those days the auditorium had four huge parking lots on property behind and adjacent to the building. One of the lots was directly behind the building. A service alley separated the building and the lot. This was where the auditorium employees parked. This lot was also used by the public to park while purchasing tickets for upcoming events. You have to remember, this was before the Internet and before credit cards were used to pay for tickets. It was cash only. So therefore if you wanted tickets for events at GMA you had to come to the box office and pay cash. The tokens were given to people when they paid for their tickets so they could exit the parking lot for free. The parking lot exits had a money slot and a token slot. Insert either and the exit arm would open. This system worked well and since street parking was prohibited around the auditorium people purchasing tickets could park for free.

Classic Venues on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway  |  Greenville Memorial Auditorium

And check out our original post on the "Big Brown Box" where our friend Peggy Lathan shared her memories of this classic old venue as well.

Thanks to Don Holbrook for his memories of the Greenville Memorial Auditorium.
Thanks to Brian Rogers for forwarding the exterior image of the GMA to us at the Gateway.