COLUMBIA – The “Cornerstones of Columbia” event will take place Monday night starting at 5:30 outside of “Hittsville,” where the old Coca-Cola bottling company once stood.
Hittsville is now home to Uprise Bakery, Ragtag Cinema, Ninth Street video and Hitt Records. Mayor Treece will present the first of two plaques there. Crowds will then move over to the Blue Note on Tenth Street where the second plaque will be unveiled celebrating where the Varsity Theater once stood.
“We’re celebrating that Columbia remains an economically vital downtown and that adaptive reuse of historic structures contributes to that economic vitality,” City Chair of Columbia Historic Preservation Commission Pat Fowler said.
After the second plaque is unveiled there will be food, drinks and entertainment inside the Blue Note to recreate the experiences that people would have at the theater had they attended in 1920s or 1930s.
“We will travel back and appreciate those people and those buildings that made Columbia the economically vital place that it is today,” Fowler said. “Some of us will come in character as the people that lived in our homes in 1927 and 1935.”
The Varsity theater, now the Blue Note, was built back in 1927 to replace the Star Theater, which either burnt down or was torn down. The Coca-Cola bottling company opened in 1935, a few years after a gentlemen purchased the rights to be the Coca-Cola bottler and it has been adaptively reused.
“We’re celebrating downtown Columbia as an employment center and as an adaptive reuse of that structure,” Fowler said.
The event is free and open to families and people of all ages. It is sponsored by the City of Columbia Historic Preservation Commission, The Blue Note and Hittsville LLC.