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Saturday afternoon just ducky in Pembroke
Pembroke DDA ducks 002
Participants put their ducks in the water before the start of the Pembroke DDA's duck race at the city pool to raise money for restoration of the historic Tos Theater. - photo by Ted O'Neil

When the historic Tos Theater in downtown Pembroke is refurbished, they might want to consider showing the Marx Brothers classic “Duck Soup” at the premiere.

The first step in a long process to raise money for the project started with a duck race in the Pembroke pool Saturday. Some 120 numbered rubber ducks were purchased for $5 each since the end of July. The winner, Betty Hughes, won half the pot, although Hughes was out of town Saturday and not able to attend the event.

Those who wanted to increase their chances were able to buy a “quack pack” of six ducks for $25, a “quacker’s dozen” of 12 for $50 or a “flock” of 25 for $100.

The event was coordinated by Alex Floyd, coordinator of the Pembroke Downtown Development Authority. He said it will require about $1.5 million to renovate the theater, but knows it can be done.

Two nearby examples are the Tos Theater in Claxton and the Mars Theatre in Springfield.

“It has a stage, a balcony and a sloped floor, but no seats,” Floyd said of the venue. “It also needs a screen.”

Floyd said Pembroke’s theater — built in 1938 — could be modeled after the one in Effingham County’s Springfield, which can host films as well as concerts.

“This has been a huge success,” said Pembroke Mayor Judy Cook as Floyd was still selling ducks five minutes before the 5 p.m. start time.

Three of the last-minute ducks were purchased by Donnell Davis and Benjamin Bordeaux of Claxton, who just happened to be passing through Pembroke on a leisurely motorcycle ride.

“We stopped at the gas station and someone told us about it, so we decided to come see what was going on,” Davis said. “Lost $15 but it was a lot of fun.”


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