Feature of the Month

Written on 6.28.11

This is the twenty-first edition of the Feature of the Month for the South Dakota Rock & Roll Music Association. We are rock and roll fans, and looking to write a feature each month, that will not only bring back wonderful memories, but will also remind us all of the history that was made in our great state of South Dakota. We are hoping to write a feature each month selecting one of the many talented Bands, DJ's, Radio Stations, and Dance Halls throughout SD.

In the mid-sixties one of “the places to be” for my friends and I on a Saturday night was the Broadway Ballroom in Centerville. I grew up in Hawarden, IA and many Hawarden youth spent their Saturday nights at the Broadway (we called it the dance hall). Students from many towns also traveled to Centerville for those great dances. Kids from Canton, Vermillion, Hudson, Beresford, and Sioux Falls to name a few, also made the Broadway their Saturday night place to be. A few of the groups I remember seeing there were…Steve Ellis and the Starfires, Marlys Roe and the Talismen, The Seven Suns, Chateaux.

The dance hall was originally an opera house built in the 1890’s. From 1958 to 1970 it was owned by the Ted Foy family of Sioux City. The Foy family bought an old house in Centerville to live in on the weekends. In the early years of their ownership, there was Saturday afternoon roller skating in the dance hall. The family also owned the Foy Theatre in Centerville from 1965 to 1970.

The Chateaux held the attendance record of over 700 smiling kids. (It seemed to be packed every Saturday that I was there.)

The Broadway burned down in 1970 on a Sunday morning in June. Although the physical structure no longer exists, the memories of many, fun Saturday nights at the Broadway will always be etched in my mind.