122 Church Street,
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Pal Theatre (Official)
Previously operated by: Pal Amusement Co.
Architects: Roy A. Benjamin
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: New Pal Theatre
The Pal Theatre opened in 1928. It was operated by Brice Enterprises during the time I was growing up in my birthplace, Vidalia, Ga. (1949-1960). During this time, Baron Godbee was the manager and I well remember being sent home on several Saturdays after Mr. Godbee stopped the movie and scolded us for being so unruly at the matinee.
I enjoyed getting an end seat with a seat standard that was lit so that I could tell what flavor of Charms I was eating.
The Pal Theatre showed first-run films during my childhood there. I saw Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” there and haven’t been exactly right since.
I had an early passion for theatre organs and didn’t find out until many years later–after I had left Vidalia–that the Pal Theatre actually had a theatre organ–a Page, installed in 1928!
I fondly remember the “Iron Claw” serials on Saturday, and also watching Mr. Brice come in to town from his estate in a big, black 1958 Lincoln Continental Mark III. Mr. Brice not only owned the Pal Theatre, but Brice Banking Company next door. He was Vidalia’s legendary wealthy man and saw to it that the Pal Theatre was well managed, stocked with good films, and was clean and sanitary.
I hope others can add more architectural and historical information about the theatre using this posting as a springboard.
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