Community Arts Center Swainsboro

In its former glory


First opening its doors in late 1934, the Karrh CenterTheatre was one to be marveled. The theatre presented feature films in addition to a variety of vaudeville attractions. Many locals remember seeing picture shows for just 10 cents. The theatre was enjoyed by all until, sadly, its doors were closed in the late 1960s. The building was then used as a retail space and for a short time sat vacant until 2014. At that time, proprietor W.M. Karrh’s grandsons, Bill and Jim, donated the former theatre to the City of Swainsboro for redevelopment into a community arts center.

Community Arts Center Swainsboro

The Karrh Center Theatre Renovation Project


The Barbara & Tobe Karrh Community Arts Center is a 16,000+ square foot home for arts and culture in Emanuel County, anchored by the Karrh Center Theatre, a cultural and architectural landmark in downtown Swainsboro.

  • The newly restored Karrh Center Theatre that will offer a state-of-the-art movie going experience. The theatre will have the comforts of modern cinemas in a unique, historic building. In addition to cinema, the theatre will also feature a stage and equipment needed for live performances such as concerts, seminars, small plays, recitals, and more.
  • Two dressing rooms
  • A new plaza in front of the theatre to provide space for gathering before or after an event
  • Offices for the Emanuel Arts Council
  • Art gallery
  • Community meeting and educational space

“This theatre will be something that will give the City of Swainsboro a great amount of pride for many years to come.”

– Mayor Charles Schwabe

Support the Karrh Center Theatre


Help us open the doors to the Karrh Center Theatre once again! Each and every
gift, no matter how large or small, makes a difference.
















All donations of $500 or more will include a one-year membership to the Emanuel Arts Council. Gifts of $100 or more will be permanently recognized in the theatre. 

Guardians of the Karrh Center Theatre