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Colleton County Arts Council brings Variety 1976 back to Hampton Street Auditorium

Living ads were on display for all in attendance to see during the recent showing of Variety 1976 at the Hampton Street Auditorium. There were also a few zombies to promote the Haunted House the CCAC plans to bring to the community in October. Photo submitted

To many Colletonians, “Variety” holds a special place in their hearts. The variety was a showcase event that put Walterboro on the cultural map in 1976. Over a hundred people auditioned and practiced their skits and dances or other given talents to bring the long-running show to life, many who are no longer with us. The show ran for two weeks and sold out every night at the Historic Hampton Street Auditorium and luckily, a television station out of Charleston came to video the production. Just over a year ago, while cleaning out a file cabinet at the Colleton County Arts Council, Kim Bridge found a fragile videotape with the faint script that read “Variety, 1976 and 1978”.
Being from Walterboro, Bridge knew she was holding something extraordinary and took the tape to Scott Grooms, a friend of the Arts Council with audio-video experience. Based on the condition of the tape, Grooms knew it was a long shot, but he sent the tape off to try to be digitally re-mastered. To his surprise, when he received the tape back, it was perfect. He shared the information with Bridge and the two began planning a Variety re-watch, which was held this past week at the Hampton Street Auditorium. The group sold living ads, just as they did in 1976. Several businesses took advantage of this unique opportunity and many that could not attend the showing have purchased a DVD so they could watch it at home.
Money raised through the purchase of the “Living Advertisements” and from the showing and selling of the film will go towards the new property the CCAC has acquired. They are hoping to turn the new property into the home of the Colleton County Children’s Theatre. A safe place where practices can be held and also a place to make and store their costumes and props. If you are interested in purchasing a DVD of Variety 1976 from the CCAC, contact Kim Bridge at 843-549-1922.
Most upcoming events for the CCAC are in the process of being moved to new dates because of the 15-day social distancing request. For up to date information on classes being rescheduled, follow them on Facebook.

Christie Slocum (595 Posts)