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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December 15, 2020 - Today is the deadline for the Letter From Santa fundraiser held by Shelby County Outreach Ministries! If you would like your child to receive a letter from Santa this year, be sure to drop off your order forms and money at the Shelby County Outreach Ministries office located at 930 Shelbyville Street. Forms need to be turned in by 2pm. For $10, your child will receive a letter from Santa and a small ornament to hang on the Christmas tree. For more information, please give us a call at 936-598-4990. Thank you and have a very Merry Christmas.

December 11, 2020 - Shelby County Outreach Ministries is having our annual “Letters from Santa” Christmas fundraiser. Each letter costs $10 and comes with a personal letter to your child along with an ornament from Santa, himself! All order forms and money must be turned in to the Shelby County Outreach Ministries office by Tuesday, December 15th. Remember, it is $10 per child. Thank you and we hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! For more information, please give us a call at 598-4990.

December 15, 2020 - Mrs. Angie Gillis’s fourth and fifth grade classes at Excelsior School made cards for all the residents at Pine Grove Nursing Center.

Many smiles were on their faces as they received their cards. 

Pictured are (from left): Post 8904 Commander Gene Hutto, Department of Texas Commander Richard Shawver and Post 9313 Commander Paul Lester. Commander Shawver was on hand at the November 16 post meeting of 8904 to finalize the consolidation

December 15, 2020 - Effective December 3, 2020, approval from National VFW Headquarters was granted for San Augustine VFW Post 9313 to consolidate with VFW Post 8904, Center.  

The name will remain as Shelby County Memorial Veterans of Foreign War Post 8904 with a muster date of December 13, 1946.

December 14, 2020 - VFW Post 8904 and Auxiliary members gathered at the Center square before the Historic 1885 Courthouse in remembrance of Pearl Harbor Day on December 7, 2020, the 79th anniversary of the attack.

Larry Hume, Post Quartermaster, welcomed all present and Travis Snider, Post Chaplain, gave the opening prayer.

"It began when Japanese aircraft appeared in the air over Pearl Harbor, Hawaii just before 8am on a Sunday morning. When the attack ceased shortly before 10am, less than two hours after it began, American forces had paid a fearful price," said Hume. 

He stated 18 ships were either damaged or sunk, 180 aircraft were destroyed, 2403 were dead and thousands of others wounded.

"Franklin D. Doosevelt spoke with forewarning words when he stated, 'No matter how long it may take us to overcomes the premeditated invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory... with the unbounding determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.'"

Hume then shared a Presidential proclamation: Now, therefore, I, Donald J. Trump, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 7, 2020, as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. I encourage all Americans to observe this solemn day of remembrance and to honor our military, past and present, with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I urge all Federal agencies and interested organizations, groups, and individuals to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff in honor of those American patriots who died as a result of their service at Pearl Harbor.

VFW Post member Richard Lundie then placed the memorial wreath and Taps was played as presented by Gene Hutto, Post Commander.

December 12, 2020 - The Shelby County Children’s Advocacy Center's annual Toy Drive deadline is approaching!

We are excited to have this chance to brighten the lives of children who have experienced abuse or trauma, but we know this is only possible through the generosity of our community. This year we will have tags for each child in need that will specify age and interests. You can pick up a tag at the Advocacy Center, 131 Tenaha Street, and then return your donation to us by December 14th.

The Advocacy Center's mailing address is P.O. Box 2072, Center, TX 75935 if you would like to make a monetary donation. If you would like more information about specific needs, please call us at 936-590-9864. Thank you for joining with us to share kindness and joy with these children!

December 10, 2020 - If you were among the 88 people tested in the free COVID-19 Drive-Thru testing on Tuesday, please be patient. You will be contacted once the results are received. The hopes were the results would be known within 24 to 48 hours; however, it is possible the results may take longer.

Please note, the United Pentecostal Church which allowed their property to be used for the testing site, they do NOT have any testing results.

It is possible another Drive-Thru Test Clinic will be held again in Shelby County after Christmas.

December 7, 2020 - There will be a COVID-19 drive through testing sight conducted at the United Pentecostal Church located at 610 Hurst St. in Center, Tuesday, December 8th from 8am-4pm.

The method used for the testing will be a saliva test as opposed to a nasal swab.

The testing is free to all and no appointment is necessary.

You will be screened to see if you have:

  • Fever and/or chills
  • Cough (Dry or Productive)
  • Fatigue
  • Body Aches/Muscle or Joint Pain
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Sore Throat
  • Headaches
  • Nausea/Vomiting/Diarrhea
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Loss of Taste and/or Smell

Shelbyville Street coming into Downtown.

December 9, 2020 - At first there were four and now there is one; one corner of the square remains to be torn up and made new! Construction on the downtown historic square has lagged on with the final stage of the project finally underway at the corner of Shelbyville Street and San Augustine Street!

San Augustine Street coming onto the square. You can go straight but the street is block midway by construction.

Traffic goers beware! The corner of Shelbyville Street and San Augustine Street is closed off for construction. Nacogdoches Street is flowing all the way across the square as well as Austin Street as both of their corners are completed.

Video by Bounds AV

Cora Street in front of First Baptist Church is blocked to through traffic. You can enter the area to access businesses along the street.

Shelbyville Street and San Augustine/Cora Streets are closed to thru traffic. Also, beware of two way traffic on the blocked streets as shoppers pull into and out of them to access the businesses nearby.

Please support our downtown merchants! Many have experienced more than a 75% loss in revenue with the construction and the pandemic. Help make sure our downtown businesses make it through to 2021 and they get to enjoy the newly renovated downtown. They suffered the pain; help then enjoy the recovery!

Cora Street facing the square.

Construction on the corner of San Augustine and Shelbyville Streets.

December 10, 2020 - The family of Michael Bowlin would like to thank everyone for all the kindness, texts, flowers and food. And to all the truck drivers that made Michael's last ride so meaningful. Each one of you have a special place in our hearts.


December 9, 2020 - Join the Shelby County Child Welfare Board (SCCWB) in collecting for “The Empty Stocking Fund.”

The Shelby County Child Welfare Board’s legal responsibility is to provide assistance to children from Shelby County who are in need of protection. The Board furnishes birthday gifts, Christmas presents and fall and spring clothing for these children. The Board helps non-foster children in Shelby County through the Empty Stocking Fund. It provides 150 Christmas gift-cards to less fortunate children in Shelby County, provides supplies for abused and neglected children, and year-round emergency assistance for families in desperate circumstances.

The SCCWB is under the direction of the Shelby County Commissioner’s Court. All members of the SCCWB are volunteers. There are no paid employees. All money spent by SCCWB goes directly to children from Shelby County. The only fundraiser is the Empty Stocking Fund event held at the Center Wal Mart each December. Because of covid, the fundraiser cannot be held this year.

However, you can help us help others!

Mail contributions to:
Shelby County Child Welfare Board
P. O. Box 395
Shelbyville, TX 75973

God bless you this Christmas Season!

December 9, 2020 - The Center Woman’s Reading Club met November 19 with Alease Copelin serving as program leader and hostess.

The club has moved its meeting time to twelve noon to accommodate women who work outside the home and can easier attend meeting during lunch time. The meetings last about one hour.

During the business meeting members agreed to donate books to the City of Center police department’s Blue Santa program. The program provides gifts for children of families in need. The books will be given to children as part of their Christmas gifts. Research shows that children with books in their homes are more likely to be able to read on grade level. 

Books also provide a wonderful time of parent and child bonding when they read together.

Center Women’s Reading Club greatly appreciates all the work the Center police do for the community and commend them for adding the Blue Santa project to their already busy schedules.

Alease Copelin gave a fascinating report on the novel “The Maltese Falcon” written by Dashell Hammett. 

Hammett dropped out of school at age 13 and later became a private detective. The main character of the book “Detective Sam Spade” had a keen eye for detail, was coldly detached, ruthless and lacked sentimentality making him the type of detective that is often now portrayed both in detective novels and in film.

In February the club will try a different type of program. Instead of the traditional program format in which one person reports on a book, the entire club will read a recent best seller “Where the Crawdads Sing” and have a group discussion of the book.

Following the report, Mrs. Copelin served a beautifully packaged and delicious tasting dessert that members enjoyed during our fellowship time.

Submitted by Stephanie Elswick