On this day in history: 1936

Published 3:09 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2024

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On this day in history, Feb. 7, 1936, The Greenville Advocate highlighted Butler County news and events including the launch of a radio operations class, the establishment of Southside Baptist Church, and an upcoming showing of three “new” movies at the Ritz Theatre. 

The Ritz, which had opened its doors only two months prior, was a state-of-the-art facility, seating over 500 patrons and boasting a hard wood stage and imported carpet. After falling into disrepair in the 1980’s, the city purchased the building, which is now beautifully restored and managed by the Greenville Area Arts Council. 

Nancy Idland, Director of the Arts Council said having such a piece of history to enjoy is something for Greenville citizens to be proud of. 

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“It’s been here forever. It’s timeless,” Idland said. “When the train used to come through, you could see people in their evening clothes walking from the depot to the theatre. It was state of the art, and people came from miles around. People still come from miles around.”

Other news reported in the Feb. 7, 1936 Advocate included the following:


  • As a consequence of the radio station being installed in Greenville, a class in radio operation was formed. It was created under the charge of two operators, F. C. Davis and P. Hanon, who were trained in all the branches of radio at Fort Barrancas and were amply qualified to teach the subject. 
  • Caps Drugstore ran a Valentine’s Day ad, reminding men of the upcoming holiday, and encouraging them to purchase a box of Norris Exquisite Candies in a decorative box.
  • Southside Baptist Church, which is currently located at 211 King Street, was established under the leadership of its first Pastor, the Reverend H. Edd Rogers.
  • The new Ritz Theatre was selling tickets, starting at 10 cents each, to see Will Rogers in “Steamboat Round the Bend,” as well as showings of the films “Widow from Monte Carlo” and “Stars over Broadway”. 
  • Greenville Motor Company offered the top-of-the-line Chevrolet car for 1936, a vehicle which included hydraulic brakes and shock proof steering, all starting at $495.
  • The 43 members of the Butler County High School senior class made a trip to the state capitol and Kilby Prison for a tour.
  • Sunshine Cleaners encouraged readers to dial 410 to order scientific cleaning of fabrics. Services included cleaning and pressing of men’s suits and topcoats for $0.65.
  • Hainje’s Furniture, which is still in business today, advertised easy payment plans and options to purchase either a complete living room or bedroom ensemble for $88.