Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Pastime Theater

The Pastime Theater is a fixture in Winfield, Alabama; you can't drive through town without seeing it.  My mother remembers going there to see a Shirley Temple movie in the late 1930's when she was seven or eight years old. Although the movie had no sound, she says she was fascinated watching the images flicker across the screen.
During my last trip to Winfield, Mary Hyche, Chairman of the Pastime's Board of Directors, offered to give me a tour...and what an impressive tour it was!  I couldn't believe I'd never been inside the theater  Built in 1937, it had many good years before closing permanently in the 1980's.  Restoration of the theater began in 2001, and it now is the crown jewel of Winfield.  Owned by the city, the Pastime hosts concerts and plays.

Look closely and you'll see where "x" marks the spot!
The dressing rooms and areas designated for the performers are spacious and comfortable.

Here's an original film reel from the golden days!

 Mary knows every fact and feature of the theater, and it's easy to tell that she's one of its biggest fans.

The theater was segregated for many years.  Rather than hide that fact, when it was restored, a small area in the top corner of the balcony was kept as it was back then...a part of Winfield's history that, thankfully, is now long gone.
There is a supper club area which also acts as a gallery for some impressive local art and memorabilia.   I told Mary that it needs some photographs displayed, too!

The supper club area also can be used for special events such as showers.  It was booked while I was there, and I didn't have time to stop by and take photographs afterwards.  Take my word, though, it's a very nice venue. Winfield is lucky to have the Pastime back up and running...there's always something going on there. Thanks for the tour, Mary.  I'll be back!

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