On June 20, 1938, the Port Theatre opened for its first movie presentation, and the residents of Port St. Joe have engaged in a love affair with the building ever since. People still recall the movies they saw such as "Lassie Come Home" in 1944 or "The Greatest Show on Earth" in 1952. Musicals, live theater, and community benefits and events were also held until the theatre closed around 1967. Since then, the building has fallen into disrepair, battered by time and hurricanes. While some improvements were made by recent owners Paula and Wade Clark, the building today remains closed and unattended, in stark contrast to the expressed desire and wishful thinking of many locals through the years.
In 1912, an enterprising ex-sponge diver had a theatre built and called it the “Dixie”. Opening April 1913, he imported traveling theatre troupes and presented attractions featuring local talent. In 1915, with the advent of motion pictures, the Dixie Theatre was converted to a cinema. It became the entertainment center for Franklin County and remained so until 1967, when it was closed, shuttered and left to fall in on itself.
In 1993 what was left of the property was purchased from the City of Apalachicola and in 1997 demolition and construction began. In July 1998 the Theatre opened with Sylvia & Driving Miss Daisy and produced 5 Professional Summer Seasons followed by 18 Professional Winter Seasons.
June 2004, the Dixie Theatre began showing Movies for the first time in 37 years and did so for 2 1/2 years.
The Dixie Theatre Foundation, Inc. is a not for profit 501(c) (3) organization and all contributions to the Dixie are tax deductible.
2020 marked the 23rd Year of Live Professional Theatre, Music, Dance & Comedy at its best.