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April 25, 2001
S. Printed 4/25/01--H.
Read the first time April 25, 2001.
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 1-1-709 SO AS TO DESIGNATE THE HISTORIC ABBEVILLE OPERA HOUSE IN ABBEVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA, AS THE OFFICIAL STATE RURAL DRAMA THEATER.
Whereas, the Abbeville Opera House, built in 1908, was the center of culture and entertainment in upstate South Carolina during the early part of the last century; and
Whereas, the Abbeville Opera House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; and
Whereas, the restoration of the Opera House in 1968 was a major effort of the citizenry of Abbeville; and
Whereas, the restoration and the subsequent efforts of the Abbeville Opera House have resulted in once again returning Abbeville to its former status as a center for culture and entertainment; and
Whereas, the theater has been the stimulus for the complete restoration of the Town Square including the historic Belmont Inn, Trinity Episcopal Church, and the historic Burt Stark Mansion, site of the last meeting of the Confederate Council of War; and
Whereas this activity has resulted in the economic revitalization of the Abbeville business and historic districts; and
Whereas, the Opera House Players have distinguished themselves as a performing group of great artistic merit; and
Whereas, this recognition has allowed them to establish the only privately operated summer repertory theater in South Carolina in addition to the regular season resulting in a year-round theater season operating forty weekends per year; and
Whereas, the Abbeville Opera House now attracts theater-goers from a wide regional area and many states; and
Whereas, this activity has stimulated another viable tourist industry for South Carolina of great economic benefit to an area of the State not heretofore considering tourism as a major industry; and
Whereas, the entire endeavor has been effective economically, artistically, and historically and has brought much fine publicity for South Carolina outside the borders of the State; and
Whereas, the Abbeville Opera House continues to reflect favorably upon the cultural and historic interest, the ingenuity, the energy, and the character of people of South Carolina. Now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Chapter 1, Title 1 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 1-1-709. The historic Abbeville Opera House in Abbeville, South Carolina, is designated as the official state rural drama theater."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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