Palace Theater goes dark

The Palace Theater will close its doors this Sunday. It has been Kennett’s only theater for a long time. Growing up in the 50’s, we had a second theater for a while, until the Ritz burned (can’t recall the year). During the early 50’s, The Palace was “segregated” with people of color sitting in the balcony and colorless people below. I’m not sure if this was by choice or enforced. (Just the sort of question a white kid would ask, no?)

In front of the Palace Theater in Kennett, MO

In front of the Palace Theater in Kennett, MO

Based on the movies on the marquee, I believe this photo was taken in 1954. My father is the one riding in the wheelbarrow. Jimmy Haggett is pushing him (in the annual Fall Festival Parade, I believe) because pop won a popularity contest pitting “pop” music against country.

In its day, The Palace was a fine old theater. We were lucky to have it.

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