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Students from the Columbia campus of the University of South Carolina came to Allendale to help with  the renovation of downtown Allendale’s historic movie theatre  – a special project that USC Salkehatchie has been working on for several years.

The theatre, built almost 100 years ago, has been under renovations to stabilize the building and to make it watertight. The next phase will transform the bare space into an Art Deco theatre that will be a showpiece of the Salkehatchie region.

A variety of events are planned for the theatre, including fine arts and humanities presentations, as well as entertainment activities aimed at enriching the cultural life of USC Salkehatchie students and the citizens of the region.

Helping to create the art deco feel in the theater is Karen Heid, an Associate Professor of Art Education at USC’s Columbia campus. Her students are’ planning a variety of projects that will enhance the theatre’s interior. Projects include making handmade glass sconces, painting portrait panels of the nine mythical muses and murals of graphic art deco design elements.

USC Salkehatchie has been renovating the theatre with the support of USDA Rural Development funding as well as private funding from area businesses, including Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, Collum’s Lumber Mill  and Georgia-Pacific.

If you are interested in supporting the theatre renovation, you may sponsor a theatre seat for $300, which will include a plaque indicating the donor or honoree’s name. Contact Anne Rice at 584-3446 x190 for more information.

Renovations are expected to be complete by the end of the 2013 spring semester and an opening event is expected later next year.