‘We wanted to bring the community back’: Group of neighbors saves historic theatre in Walnut Cove

Roy's Folks

WALNUT COVE, N.C. (WGHP) — In its heyday, the Palmetto Theatre in Walnut Cove was the place to be.

“In 1954, I used to come here to the movies,” said resident Durward Bennett. “I used to sit on the left side to watch the westerns.”

Just like those old movies with stories centered around someone needing to be saved, Bennett and several of his neighbors believed the Palmetto needed saving

“It just came together, and we found out the building was for sale and decided ‘Hey, let’s try to save it,” he said.

With the growing popularity of television, the theatre closed in the 1960s. it became several businesses, including a car dealership.

With fundraising and sweat, folks like Kim Ferrell helped discover so much of the theater’s past.

“This is where they wore the floor,” said Ferrell pointing to a worn-down spot in front of the concession stand. “We decided to leave it.”

The group did most of the work themselves, including restoring as much of the original theater as possible with their first show, featuring Alan Bibey and Grasstowne, selling out the July 4 weekend.

“We did this because we wanted to bring the community back,” Bennett said.

The theater’s next show, featuring “Zac Brown and Good Intentions,” is set for August 20.

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