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By Robert Smith, RHS Class of ’57
In the late forties and early fifties, the Farris Theater was the focal point of Richmond society. The theater did a good business and on Saturday nights, it was always full. People came to town to buy groceries and they would send their kids to the movies while they were shopping. The town square would be full of cars and people. That all began to decline after 1954 because of TV and the new Drive-In theater in Henrietta.
As kids, our goal was to get in for little or no money. I have done it the honest way by helping to clean up the theater after school, but it was more fun to sneak in or to get in at a reduced price.If you were under 12, it only cost a dime to get in. Adults had to pay 50 cents.
We did our best to remain as young and short for as as long as possible by scrunching down when we came up to the window. I managed to remain 12 years old until I was 14 and started to look like I had osteoporosis.
After that, all of us teen-age boys would try to sneak in. One or two guys would pay to get in and then open up the side door for the rest of us who would then run in. The manager of the theater was a man by the name of Myron Clevenger. One night in particular, I can remember sitting in there waiting for the movie to start when the lights came on and Myron came down to the front and ordered everyone outside. It seems that he had sold 9 tickets and there was a least a hundred or more of us teen-age boys sitting there in the dark.