For the first time and due to the COVID-19 Ruling, the RIO Theatre is closed until the COVID-19 restrictions have been removed. The RIO will miss our customers during this time; however, the closing is for the health and wellness of our community. We appreciate our customers and wish everyone well. Check back often for when the RIO announces it will reopen. 

Box office opens at 7:00pm. Showtime at 7:30pm. Admission is $7 for adults and $6 for children.
Senior Citizen's Night
Mondays - $5 Admission

Around Town

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Crockett (pictured above) crossed the stage earlier in June
for Center High School graduation ceremonies.

June 21, 2020 - Portacool Park was filled with members of Center High School Class of 2020, friends, and family of De Crockett who lost his life in an automobile crash late Saturday, June 20, 2020.

The crowd gathered in the Portacool Park pavillion in the Center Mini Park where the rememberance opened with Mark Perkins, who graduated with De (DeSkyhen) Crockett, welcoming everyone and sharing some personal thoughts regarding Crockett. 

Several other friends and family members joined him on the basketball court and expressed with raw emotions to everyone how they felt about the loss of their friend and family member.

After several spoke, the attendees traveled into a field located behind the pavillion where Pearlie Nash said a prayer. At the completion of her prayer, balloons of red which were De's favorite color, some in the shape of hearts, and some black were released honoring Crockett.

June 20, 2020 - A Black Lives Matter Juneteenth Rally is being held on the City of Center grounds today, June 20, 2020. 

Protesters have gathered on Tenaha Street where they chanted and displayed signs. Many passers-by have shown their support by honking as they go by and some stopping to join in the gathering.

The event began at 12-noon and continues with food, music and "good dialogue" in the park through the afternoon.

June 18, 2020 - According to an article in The Texas Tribune, Texas Education Agency (TEA) Commissioner Mike Morath confirmed Texas school will return to the classroom in the fall in a conference call with sate lawmakers Thursday morning, June 18, 2020.

Morath and Texas Governor Greg Abbott both say it is safe for Texas public school students, teachers, and staff to return to school campuses for in-person instruction. Guidance for the 2020-2021 school year will be released in the coming weeks by TEA.

Article: Texas students will return to school campuses this fall, Gov. Greg Abbott tells lawmakers

June 17, 2020 - Watson & Sons Funeral Home recently visited our local police station and sheriff's department to present them with a small token of support and appreciation for their service to our community.

No! The theatre is NOT closed permanently due to pandemic virus as so many other businesses are.

Dear Friends,

June 13, 2020 - We have so many of our dedicated customers that would like to have a night out or a place  to take their children to forget about the virus, so we wanted to give everyone a little insight as to why we haven’t re-opened.

We have been given clearance to open by the state, in a limited capacity, 50%, but we are finding out that most people are still not comfortable even with social distancing in a movie auditorium watching a movie with others, not knowing their health situation. Since the film companies know that fact, they are still holding back on releasing any new movies at this time.

Most of the new releases for this year have been pushed to late July or even later. When the movie studios have invested millions of dollars in making a movie, they want to be assured that when they release it to the theatres, it is going to pay them back on that investment. When the theatres have a limited capacity from which to operate, it’s difficult to give the studios what they require and also make a profit for the theatre. The larger cities are the ones that are still trying to figure out how to open with several auditoriums and no movies to play, so until they are able to get movies to fill the screens, we all have to wait. There are still some states that have not allowed their theatres to open at all. States like California and New York that have a high number of theatres with multiple screens, it presents a problem.

Playing older movies seems like it would be an option to give everyone a chance to get out of the house, but it is really hard to get the public to pay for a movie that they can watch for free on TV.  

Unfortunately at this time, as much as we would love to see our valued customers and also generate an income, with no new movies from the film companies, it is just not feasible. We want to make sure that when we do re-open, it will be in a safe environment for everyone as well as our staff. 

During this time of being closed, we have been doing maintenance work and cleaning inside the theatre and making sure everyone will be safe when they come back.

We are also facing a problem on the Center Downtown Square, with the streets being closed for the facelift it is getting. We already have a parking issue on the square and having our streets closed for such a long period of time has created a hardship on the “mom & pop “ businesses that are struggling to make ends meet.  Hopefully when we get some new movies, we will be able to have parking that is convenient for our customers to park.

We definitely do believe there is a pent-up demand for people to be able to get back out in the world and live our lives normally, but we don’t think right now is the proper time. We ask that you please understand that we are doing what the film industry allows when it is safe and the time is right for everyone to stay well. We miss every one of our supporters more than you know and thank you for being patient with us during this difficult time. Please pray for the families that have had to endure more than a financial loss at this time, because losing our loved ones or seeing them suffer with this devastating illness is more than we can imagine. 

Thank you for your support,
Mike and Nita Adkison, Owners
Rio Theatre
Center, Tx.

June 11, 2020 - The University of Wisconsin-Madison recognized Brisa Guevara of Center for being named to the Dean's List for the spring semester of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Guevara is attending the College of Letters and Science. She was the salutatorian of the Center High School Class of 2019.

Students who achieve at a high level academically are recognized by the dean at the close of each semester. To be eligible for the Dean's List, students must complete a minimum of 12 graded degree credits in that semester. Each university school or college sets its own GPA requirements for students to be eligible to receive the distinction. Most call the honor "dean's list," but some grant the "Dean's Honor List" and "Dean's High Honor List."

To view an online listing, visit For questions or concerns about eligibility, please contact

June 10, 2020 - Daniel Chavez of Center, Texas was listed on the President's Honor Roll at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. The President's List are undergraduates who have achieved a perfect 4.0 grade point average in all work attempted while enrolled in not less than 12 semester hours. The university recognized Chavez for earning the honor for the Spring 2020 semester.

June 10, 2020 - Four Sam Houston State University students from Shelby County made the Spring 2020 Dean's list. Students from Center are Maria Alvarado, Alexus Ceasar-Walker, and Daniel Chavez. The fourth student is Ashley Jernigan from Shelbyville.

The students listed on the Dean's List of Academic Honors at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, are undergraduates who have achieved a grade point average of at least 3.5 out of a perfect 4.0 in all work attempted while enrolled in not less than 12 semester hours. The university recognizes the students for earning the honor for the Spring 2020 semester.

June 9, 2020 – The American Electric Power Foundation has awarded a total of $29,500 to five East Texas nonprofits in Southwestern Electric Power Co.’s (SWEPCO) service area providing additional health and human services in response to COVID-19.

Grant dollars will aid organizations in expanding services and accommodating increased caseloads.

The American Electric Power Foundation is funded by American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and its utility operating units, including SWEPCO.
Organizations receiving funds include:

1. CASA of Harrison County, $4,500, to assist with additional cases and the needs of sponsored children and their families in special circumstances.
2. Rusk County Salvation Army, $5,000, to help with an increase in food pantry requests from new families applying for assistance.
3. Martin House Children’s Advocacy Center, $10,000, to address increased domestic violence and sexual abuse cases as well as general counseling needs.
4. Mission Marshall Food Pantry, $5,000, to help with an increase in food pantry requests from new families applying for assistance.
5. Shelby County Child Advocacy Center, $5,000, to address increased domestic violence and sexual abuse cases as well as general counseling needs.

“We are excited to hear how these funds are making a positive impact in our communities,” said Mark Robinson, External Affairs manager in Longview. “Our partner agencies are aware of specific needs in our community and are diligently providing relief for those experiencing difficult situations.”

Roxanne Stevenson, Executive Director of The Martin House Children’s Advocacy Center, said for many children, home isn’t safe. It’s where abuse happens.

“Without teachers and other protective adults interacting with kids regularly due to the pandemic, cases of severe abuse are on the rise,” she said. “This generous AEP Foundation grant allows us to provide case coordination, advocacy, therapy, and other intervention services so children can heal.”

In Shelby County, funds will enable remote access to child advocacy services.

“COVID-19 forced our agency to rapidly find and implement new ways of working,” said Denise Merriman, Shelby County Child Advocacy Center. “We are so fortunate that we did not also have to scramble to find funding for these changes. The grant from the AEP Foundation allowed us to pay for many of the expenses that resulted in moving to remote service delivery. We are grateful for their support during this critical time."

Similarly, food pantries have experienced an increased demand for services.

“Thanks to the generous grant from the AEP Foundation, we can walk alongside the worried guests in need to provide food items and help alleviate at least one of their concerns during this difficult time,” said Mission Marshall Food Pantry Manager Darlene Dotson.

The AEP Foundation has provided nearly $3 million in emergency funds to support basic human needs (food, shelter, and housing assistance) and other COVID-19 related emergencies across the AEP system. The fund previously donated $42,000 to Longview's Meals on Wheels Ministry.

“We are truly grateful for the generous gift from the AEP Foundation," said Tiffany Damskov, Marketing and Development director for the Meals on Wheels Ministry. "Their donation helped us to continue providing meals for the East Texas seniors and disabled clients in their service area.”

The AEP Foundation provides a permanent, ongoing resource for charitable initiatives involving higher dollar values and multi-year commitments in the communities served by AEP and initiatives outside of AEP’s 11-state service area.

The Foundation focuses on improving lives through education from early childhood through higher education in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and by meeting basic needs for emergency shelter, affordable housing and the elimination of hunger.

The AEP Foundation is based in Columbus, Ohio.

June 8, 2020 - Gauge Sample graduated from Panola College in May with a Associate of Applied Science Degree in Electrical and Instrumentation Technology.

He is a 2018 honor graduate of Timpson High School. After his graduation he attended Panola College to pursue his dream of becoming an Electrician. He recently began work at 4C Electrical in Center.

Gauge's parents are Jason and Deanne Sample of Center, grandparents are David and Sandi Sample, Debbie Samford and Don Lovell all of Center. Great-grandparents are Ura Lovell and Adell Livingston of Center.  

We are extremely proud of Gauge and what he has accomplished. Congratulations Gauge!