In 1912, an enterprising ex-sponge diver, had a theater built and called it the “DIXIE”. Opening in April of 1913, he imported traveling theater troupes. In 1915, with the advent of motion pictures, the Dixie Theatre was converted to a motion picture house.
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 1992, Rex and Cleo Partington came to St. George Island for vacation and wandered in to Apalachicola for dinner. In walking around the mostly boarded up town, they stumbled upon the Dixie Theatre remains and noticed the DIXIE Theatre Office sign in the building next door. Planning to retire within the year, Rex was in his 21st and final year as Producing Artistic Director with the Barter Theatre in Abingdon Virginia, Rex and Cleo thought it was an omen since coincidentally their daughters name was Dixie. They proceeded to move to Apalachicola with daughter Dixie in 1993 and purchase what was left of the property from the City of Apalachicola. In 1997 demolition and construction was started on the Theater and in 1998 the DIXIE opened with Sylvia & Driving Miss Daisy. It is now one of only a few family-owned & operated Professional Equity Theaters in America. The Dixie Theatre Foundation has produced over 40 professional theater productions, as well as numerous musical events including the ever popular The DIXIE Does Nashville series as well as Bob Milne – Ragtime Pia