People: Feb. 3, 1986

When she was growing up

in Eatonton, Ga., and wanted to see a movie at the Pex theater, Alice Walker had to sit in the balcony reserved for blacks. But last week, dear God, Walker, 41, was triumphantly downstairs. The Pex literally put out the red carpet for the Pulitzer prizewinning writer, who used her hometown as the inspiration for her best-selling novel The Color Purple. Much of Eatonton (pop. 4,800) turned out for a benefit screening of the film based on her book. "I think of this movie as a gift to you," Walker told the audience of friends and...

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