Pastime Theatre

308 N. Hayne Street,
Monroe, NC 28112

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Opera House

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This was a small house within a three-story brick structure built in 1898 known as The Opera House (or Monroe Opera House). The Pastime Theatre occupied one of the spaces on the street level while the stage for live productions was upstairs. Earl & Rowena Shute took over the operation of the theatre from Mr. J. P. McEwen in 1912. Admission at the time was a dime. It was said that Mrs. Shute often looked the other way when young children didn’t have the admission price - however she had better not ever catch you trying to sneak in! The marquee was flush with the store front and was simply the name lit with colored bulbs. First-time visitors were startled, especially if they entered the auditorium after the show began, to find the audience facing them as the screen was in the ‘back’.

Bruce Snyder, Sr. and his son, Bruce Snyder, Jr. were the owner/operators in 1949. Their ownership was short lived as by November 1952 they accepted positions with Stewart & Everette Theatres to run the renovated State (to be called The Monroe Theatre). The Pastime Theatre closed in 1952, but Mrs. Rowena Shute still owned the Monroe Opera House building. It was demolished in 1973.

Contributed by Patricia Poland

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

PatriciaCarol on March 29, 2011 at 12:08 am

Link to photo of Rowena Shute outside the Pastime, year unknown, unless some of you ‘eagle eyes’ out there can read that one sheet! A local man shared that if you called “Miss Rowena” up and asked her what time was the show, she would reply, “What time can you get here?” A home town movie theatre at its best! View link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 25, 2012 at 6:02 pm

My eagle eyes say that the movie on the poster is Three Girls About Town, with Joan Blondell, Binnie Barnes, Janet Blair, Robert Benchley, and John Howard. It was released in 1941.

PatriciaCarol on October 25, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Thank you Joe. I will update it at the Union County Public Library’s web site!

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