MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A group turned out Monday to toast the Palace Theatre as the iconic Myrtle Beach landmark is slowly torn down after sustaining heavy damage from Hurricane Matthew.
It was a sad day for those who turned out in front of the half-demolished building, gathering to toast the venue where they've watched countless performances since the theatre first opened its doors in 1995.
Mike Mabrey, a former Palace Theatre employee, recalled being hired before the building was officially opened. He said he hired many of the initial ushers and parking attendants, and made a lot of good friends over the years.
"It's been a sad week watching it come down, and we just wanted to get together one more time here and say our goodbyes," Mabrey said.
Crews began tearing down the Palace Theatre last Thursday, April 27. Demolition is expected to be completed before the end of June.
The Palace Theatre was heavily damaged during Hurricane Matthew last October, which left a gaping hole in the theater's front facade.
Earlier this month, it came to light that the owner of the theater, The Chapin Company, opted to demolish the building instead of repairing it.