Dance Hall Days: The Palladium

SARGENT, Neb.- You could say that The Palladium is a sort of landmark building in Sargent.

People know the building, because it's home to a consignment store called the Little Red Hen Rehaberdashery. "They get 60%, we might get 40% when we sell the items, and it's just a good place to come if you are looking for something unusual," employee Mary Mason said. The building is owned by Lori Cox. "She's the head of the business here," Mason said. "And there are three of us little hens that run around and help her."

The owner and her employees at the Rehaberdashery take a lot of pride in their store. Books and DVD's are a specialty. But it's not just the store that has people coming in. People also remember the building as a very popular dance hall. "It was called Oscar's Palladium, and Oscar would hold dances here on the weekends," Mason said. The Palladium has quite a history in Sargent. In fact, many well-known bands came here to play for dances, including the likes of Guy Lombardo orchestra. 

On the walls you can see photographs of dances and gatherings, along with many historical photos from around town. "We've had people come back here over time, and they can all tell wonderful stories about coming here to the dances and things that they did," Mason said. "In the main dance room, there are these columns that have mirrors on them. The boys would go up to the mirror, and they would sort of check their hair before they went and asked the young lady to dance with them." 

Today, the Palladium is being used in different ways. It's home to the consignment store. Dances are occasionally held here, and it's a meeting place. "During the week, we use the main room here, and we come in and have coffee. I think we are all in competition to see who is going to make the most cookies and cakes," Mason said.

The hope is to keep the history of this building alive. "Lori (Cox) has bought the building, and she is trying to keep the things about the Palladium (the same), because a lot of our history is just going away. Mary Mason believes the building still has plenty of uses, and it has a bright future.