Number      00816

Scan Date     7/10/02

Time Period  1941

Subject Matter     Shute Family

Location      Monroe, North Carolina


Rowena Shute, in front of Pastime Theater

Photographer (if known)


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 shortlived as by November 1952 they excepted positions with Stewart & Everett Theatres to run the renovated State (to be called The Monroe Theatre). The Pastime Theatre closed in 1952, but Mrs. Shute still owned the Monroe Opera House building. It was demolished in 1973.

Note:  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!

Notes written by Patricia Poland, Union County Public Library and also posted at  Time period updated by a Cinema Treasures contributor.  -October 2012


Measurements of original photograph

Height  9"

Width  6 1/16"

Type of photograph   Black and White