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Blakely Theatre set to host first production since renovations

(WTVY News 4)
Published: Mar. 2, 2016 at 4:44 PM CST
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The Blakely Theatre is preparing to host its first production since being renovated. Organizers hope they're raising the curtain on memory lane.

“This was the hot place of Early County growing up.”

Built in 1936, many thought the Blakely Theatre had long-since seen its heyday, but city leaders hope recent renovations bring the old facility at least some of its former glory.

“I hope that things like this will bring back a sense of nostalgia within the community,” said Blakely-Early Co. Chamber of Commerce President Kyle Kornegay.

Tandie Merritt's father worked in the theater.

“He was the ticket man, he run behind the food, and he run the projector.”

The ticket booth he worked in is still standing. The old projector room is now a sound booth.

“These bricks that you see are 100 years old and made in Early County,” Merritt explains. “We've got the graffiti left that's been there for years.”

The theater still boasts the original doors, and you can still see the old colored entrance.

“You walked down in here, the seats were red and you had like three sections,” said Merritt. “You could hear the projector up the stairs. [There are] a lot of memories.”

Memories leaders hope to bring back one production at a time.

“Kind of a stir of emotion thinking about the time they were here by looking at these performances,” said Kornegay.

“I know a quarter sounds weird to a lot of these younger folks, but that was a lot of time here,” Merritt said.

Renovations on the theater wrapped up late last year. Now the Early County Board of Commissioners uses the space for their monthly meetings.

The theater will host its first performance this week. The Early County Elementary School "Early Birds" will perform ‘Sleeping Beauty’ Thursday and Friday at 7:00 p.m.. You can also catch the show on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults, $40 for couples and $10 for children.