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Alice Eatmon recalls the
Anderson Theatre in Kingstree, SC

Kingstree, SC - March 29, 2005

In my younger years we went to the movies every Saturday. My mother worked here in town. My uncle would drop me and my two older sisters off at the movies. We would go to a double header that started about two o’clock. You would get out about seven-thirty. That cost ten cents. We would sit through two Westerns.

One Saturday a movie star, Lash LaRue came to town. He was the one with the whip. He had eight-by-ten black and white photographs. You went down and he would autograph them and give them to you. He had to give them to us because none of us had any money.

I called my sister just before I came over here and asked her what she remembered. She said on Wednesday nights they always had a scary movie. One time they had a drawing for a hobby horse.

When I was in high school, Edward and I would walk downtown to the movies. There wasn’t any crime and we didn’t worry about anything. Sometimes groups of us would walk together down to the movies. Edwards mother was married to a judge who was out of town on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. When he was gone, she would go to the matinees in the afternoon. They had those wonderful movies. Nothing like they have today.

When you walked up to the ticket booth you bought your ticket from Mrs. Tisdale. She had red hair and a good looking figure, and was so friendly. Then you’d go into the lobby. The floor was little black and white tiles. And right in front of you was Jim Owens. We called him James Watson and he was in charge of the popcorn, making the popcorn and all that.

On the left was a bathroom for the men and on the right there was one for the women. Then you went into the theater and walked down the aisle to your seat. It had a center row of seats and then seats on each side.

After Ed and I got married we’d go to the nine o’clock movie at night and then (she smiled) and all that stuff. There was a wonderful doctor here in town, Dr. James Claffy Montgomery. He would come in with his two youngest children. One would be in his arms with a football helmet on. He was two or three years old. He would fall asleep with his head over his daddy’s shoulder. That was probably the only time of day the doctor had with his children.

We loved to watch them come in. The little one always sat in his daddy’s lap and fell asleep. They were well behaved. You know back then we didn’t move around. We sat still.

Cartoons came on first. Like Looney Tunes’ Bugs Bunny. We had the sing-alongs with the white bouncing ball. You know the 1950s, after the war, was the greatest time. The war was so awful. I remember after the war, I was about six, my mother said there were two things she was going to have done. We lived about four miles out of town on the Charleston highway. The house had never been painted. She was going to have that house painted inside and out. And, she was going to have a car.

The first thing they did was buy a four-door, navy blue Chevrolet from Manning, South Carolina for nine hundred dollars. That car and having the house painted really made them happy. Today, that would be nothing to most folks.

I remember when Gone With The Wind showed in a movie theater in Charleston. My mother went with a bunch of other women from Kingstree. I stayed with my grandmother. She said that when Rhett Butler said, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn,” everyone in the audience gasped.

Alice and Edward Eatmon.
Below, Alice and Edward in
the 1950s.

 

Anderson Theatre

     
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