March 2019

John Cranford’s Coligny Theatre

Author: Becca Edwards | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

Calling all ’80s babies (and anyone who likes ’80s movies), name the movie with these lines:
Marty McFly: Wait a minute. Wait a minute, Doc. Ah… are you telling me that you built a time machine… out of a DeLorean?

Dr. Emmett Brown: The way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?

Yep. You guessed right. Back to the Future. In addition to taking me back to a time when tube socks and scrunchies were cool, this cult classic takes many of us back to our childhood. As I sat inside Coligny Theatre a few months ago and the DeLorean scene unfolded, I was reminded of just how many movies I have watched over the years in these very seats. If you, too, grew up here, you know Coligny Theatre is a Hilton Head Island fixture, and, thanks to John Cranford, it’s now an even cooler venue.

You have probably listened to Cranford’s band Cranford Hollow jam out on Daufuskie Island or at some local hotspot and, if you have had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with him, you know he is a hell of a great guy. He doesn’t just live on Hilton Head Island—he makes Hilton Head a better place to live.

One way he is doing this is improving our local music scene. “We are providing a live concert venue for local and national artists like Angie Aparo and Trevor Hall, while still keeping the nostalgic vibe of Coligny Theatre,” Cranford said. “We love and don’t want to lose Coligny Theatre’s longtime patrons, but we also want to fill our theatre seats with people who appreciate more diversity of entertainment.”

Inasmuch, with Coligny Theatre, Cranford is giving local musicians a voice—and a boost. “It is very expensive to produce an album, and it is difficult to book cost-effective venues. We not only want our patrons to have a great experience, but we tape our concerts so artists will have a copy of their event that they can then use to promote themselves.”

Another way Cranford is helping our island is by giving back. “Pedal HHI is a great event with 300 to 500 people coming to experience our bike trails, and it supports the Boys and Girls Club of Hilton Head Island. We wanted to be part of it,” Cranford said. Other charities Cranford raises money and awareness for include The Gullah Museum and the Outside Foundation.

In addition to showing throwback, feel-good movies like Back to the Future, Cranford showcases documentary films, film exhibitions, independent films and art films. In the spirit of Dr. Emmett Brown and doing things with “some style,” Coligny Theatre offers theatre fare like popcorn and candy, as well as beer and wine. To learn more about upcoming events, check out and like Coligny Theatre on Facebook and Instagram.

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