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Debra Heath Remembers the
Dane Theatre in Denmark, SC

March 22, 2007

My fond childhood memory of a single screen theater is of the Dane Theatre in Denmark, SC. I have so very many memories of going to movies as a child at this Theater. It was always so cool and dark and it had red velvet seats which I thought were beautiful. The ladies restroom had a vanity that I thought was so glamorous. "My seat" was always on the left side of the theater about half way down the aisle in the middle section.

Dane Theatre

Although The Dane Theatre was 10 miles away from where my family lived we attended very often. My Dad would never miss a John Wayne movie - we saw each and every one of them in The Dane Theatre.

I can also vividly recall going to see movies such as "The Ten Commandments", "Gone With the Wind", "A Summer Place", "The Graduate" and every Disney movie that was ever made when I was a child. I had a friend who loved scary movies like I did. When we went to see movies like "The Mummy" and "Dracula" in The Dane I would hide my eyes at the really scary parts and she would tell me when it was safe to open my eyes - sometimes she would fool me and tell me to open them when something scary was still going on.

One special memory is when I was eight years old and a group of my friends and I boarded the train one Saturday afternoon in Olar, SC, and rode the ten miles to Denmark to see the matinee which was "Old Yeller." I will never forget that thrill or the feeling because it was the first time I had ever ridden a train!

Over my childhood and adolescent years The Dane Theatre was a popular birthday party destination and I recall going to The Dane on many Saturday afternoons for various friends' birthdays and some of those 'birthday' movies we saw - "Snow White", "Summer Magic" as a youngster and "Goldfinger" for one middle school birthday party! I think "Goldfinger" was the first 'adult' movie we middle schoolers ever saw and we felt so grown-up going to see it.

Mr. Lundy operated The Dane and he always sat in the tiny little window to take our money. I just can't ever remember seeing anyone else in that window but Mr. Lundy. I can remember paying a quarter to see many movies but I can't recall paying other amounts as the price changed as time went on.

On another note, I remember that the balcony was where the black folks sat to watch movies. I did not understand why they sat there and I used to think they were so lucky to be able to sit up so high in the theater. I wanted more than anything to be able to sit in the balcony to watch movies. I was too little to understand the real reason why this was the way it was.

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