Batesville, AR - Melba Theater opening to celebrate old, new

posted by ThrHistoricalSociety on July 27, 2016 at 8:58 am

Medium

From the Three Rivers Edition: Downtown Batesville’s historic Melba Theater has come a long way from the deteriorating state the theater’s current owners found it in just over a year ago. Now, as the last bits of sawdust are being swept away and fresh layers of paint dry, the theater is wrapping up finishing touches and will soon reopen to the community.

The grand opening of the Melba Theater, 115 W. Main St., will take place Aug. 12. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the event will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50. Melba Theater owners have spent a year updating and preparing the building for opening night and look forward to seeing people’s reactions to the improvements.

“It’s been reiterated to us through people’s excitement,” said Janelle Shell, who co-owns the building with her husband, Joe, and another couple, Adam and Mandi Curtwright. “They remember their first movie here, their last movie [here], they remember their first date was here, their first job was here. There are so many attachments that people have to this particular theater that I think we’re excited to bring that back to life.”

Owners encourage formalwear for the theater’s red-carpet-themed grand-opening celebration, which will include gift bags for guests.

Adam, who while in banking school with Janelle in Memphis began brainstorming about bringing the theater back to life, has a personal connection to the building.

“It was my first job in high school, working here,” he said. “My grandma, she graduated high school in this building.”

The theater is believed to have opened in 1875 as an opera house. In 1916, the building was a mercantile store, then opened as the Melba Theater in 1940. The Batesville Commercial Historic District, which includes the theater, is part of the National Register of Historic Places.

“The Melba actually opened down the block a little ways in 1934, but it opened here in 1940,” Joe said. “We’ve tried to maintain the history and the spirit of what they originally built there. The ticket booth had been moved to the side and changed, and there were several changes that’ve been made. We tried to kind of go back to the original, of the way it looked, and tried to restore as much as possible.”

Ticket prices for movies at the 496-seat theater will be $4 across the board — no matter one’s age.

“We are keeping our pricing low so that families have affordable, family-friendly entertainment,” Janelle said.

Adam said that moviegoing is a fun experience because while he can’t remember every movie he’s ever seen, he can describe what the moment was like while viewing them.

“That’s kind of what we were wanting to generate here,” he said. “It might not be the best movie in the world that’s being shown, it might not be the top-rated film of all time, but if you can come and have a good time, and you can afford it and actually sit back and let the rest of the world kind of go to the side for a minute and enjoy yourself, then I think that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Joe said that many people who have visited the theater have a “Melba story.”

“People that are not from this area that come in and visit say, ‘Oh, I was here back in the ’80s,’ or ‘I did this,’ or ‘I met my husband here,’” he said. “We met one lady whose dad died not long after he brought her here as a young child, and this is one of her few memories of her dad. It’s not just, ‘Oh, we went there and had fun.’ It’s a life-changing experience sometimes, which is an amazing thing to us.”

Before renovations, Joe said, the building had water damage and asbestos, and also needed treatment for mold and termites. During work on the building, Adam even stepped through the floor because of weak wood. But the building’s steel structure proved sturdy, Joe said, and the owners did not have to replace the existing screen in the theater.

“As in any old building or an old house or anything, you pull something back and you think, ‘Well, I’m going to fix this one thing,’” Joe said. “And you pull it back and find out you have to fix three things behind it in order to fix it. That’s a lot of the nature of what the job has been.”

Now the Melba Theater has new heating and air and electric wiring, a new projector and restored seats. There is also a family restroom and more accessible seating. The theater’s balcony will be completed after the building’s opening.

Janelle said the community can enjoy the Melba for more than just movie-viewing.

“We’re excited about not just showing movies. We want to hold concerts here. If businesses want to hosts podcasts or training, we’ll hold that capability,” she said. “We want to rent to churches to show faith-based movies [and be] a venue that people can rent out, host their fundraisers or birthday parties. We’re excited for the opportunity to let the community use it.”

The theater is also presenting a Save My Seat campaign, which offers people the chance to purchase a $50 plaque to be placed on the back of a seat in the theater. Plaques give people the chance to name a seat in honor of a business or loved one. One man even purchased plaques for 14 seats in a row to present a poem to his wife, Mandi said.

Janelle said she hopes the theater’s grand opening will inspire individuals to return with other family members or friends.

“Whether you bring your grandma or you bring your toddler, you’re going to enjoy your experience,” she said.

Tickets to the grand opening can be purchased at Citizens Bank main branch, 200 S. Third St., and WRD Entertainment, 920 Harrison St., Suite C. For more information, visit www.melbatheater.org.

Story link: http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2016/jul/24/melba-theater-opening-celebrate-old-new/?f=threerivers

ABOUT THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA: Founded by Ben Hall in 1969, the Theatre Historical Society of America (THS) celebrates, documents and promotes the architectural, cultural and social relevance of America’s historic theatres. Through its preservation of the collections in the American Theatre Architecture Archive, its signature publication Marquee™ and Conclave Theatre Tour, THS increases awareness, appreciation and scholarly study of America’s theatres.

Large

Comments (31)

jackson28
jackson28 on August 4, 2021 at 2:17 am

Premium eyelid anti aging device ​that helps treat sagging eyelid skin. kin Care EvenSkyn® is a manufacturer of premium skin care devices, Laser Hair Removal, Anti Aging, and helping men and women have smooth, hair free skin, Please Visit our site today for more information, Thank You.

shaabnz
shaabnz on September 6, 2021 at 12:39 am

Sky climbers are the best providers of Window Cleaning companies in Dubai , UAE.

shaabnz
shaabnz on September 12, 2021 at 11:59 pm

Our training program is designed in convenience to the passionate beginners and later they reach a stage where they can do programming projects easily. We provide the best internships in Calicut in programming languages like angular internship in Kerala, Python training, PHP, Java, and Angular. Join us to master the empowering skill-coding!!

SimonBlais
SimonBlais on September 22, 2021 at 3:41 am

I’m keen a put up. It happens to be fantastic to ascertain most people verbalize out of your spirit not to mention ability on that fundamental topic area are generally comfortably found.seo packages for small business

shaabnz
shaabnz on September 24, 2021 at 3:55 am

We list out all the latest promotions, offers, and deals happening in and around UAE. jumbo electronics offers

miraadora
miraadora on September 28, 2021 at 3:00 am

Thanks for sharing this information. I really like your blog post very much. You have really shared a informative and interesting blog post Dumpster Rental Decatur IL

jackson28
jackson28 on September 29, 2021 at 12:24 pm

It is truly a well-researched content and excellent wording. I got so engaged in this material that I couldn’t wait reading. I am impressed with your work and skill. Thanks.proofreading services

shaabnz
shaabnz on October 3, 2021 at 11:18 pm

Xite Display Studio is engaged in Manufacturing and Exporting a wide range of stylishly designed products that Reflects the brilliant transience of Fashion and Fitness. Jute bag supplier in Dubai

jackson28
jackson28 on October 14, 2021 at 12:52 pm

If you don"t mind proceed with this extraordinary work and I anticipate a greater amount of your magnificent blog entries. Mangabuddy

jackson28
jackson28 on October 14, 2021 at 1:12 pm

Regular visits listed here are the easiest method to appreciate your energy, which is why why I am going to the website everyday, searching for new, interesting info. Many, thank you S2Manga

dreyson
dreyson on October 19, 2021 at 11:52 pm

Really I enjoy your site with effective and useful information. It is included very nice post with a lot of our resources.thanks for share. i enjoy this post.먹튀

dreyson
dreyson on October 21, 2021 at 12:48 am

Wonderful article. Fascinating to read. I love to read such an excellent article. Thanks! It has made my task more and extra easy. Keep rocking.먹튀검증커뮤니티

dreyson
dreyson on October 25, 2021 at 11:49 pm

Are you concerned about the condition of your home Call us today to schedule a meeting with us for mold inspector Columbus Ohio! Don’t wait! Dial 1-800-241-0133 to schedule a home mold inspection in Columbus Ohio. You could be living with mold and your health could be suffering. Get to the root of the problem with a hassle-free and affordable mold inspection.

dreyson
dreyson on October 27, 2021 at 3:29 am

Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work.

jackson28
jackson28 on October 30, 2021 at 10:56 am

For a long time me & my friend were searching for informative blogs, but now I am on the right place guys, you have made a room in my heart!Boruto: Naruto Next Generations

AmileBills
AmileBills on November 11, 2021 at 1:18 am

Very informative post! There is a lot of information here that can help any business get started with a successful social networking campaign.fishing reels for bass

dreyson
dreyson on November 28, 2021 at 3:17 am

This is a great article thanks for sharing this informative information. I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post. I will visit your blog regularly for Some latest post.슈어맨

shaabnz
shaabnz on November 30, 2021 at 11:18 pm

By listing out their sales and offers, providing a win-win situation for both customers and retailers. Follow us, to get regular updates on sales happening in all the branches of Lulu in and around the UAE. From now on, no offers will be missed. Dubai shopping festival offers

saish
saish on December 1, 2021 at 10:26 pm

Play online and take your fun to the highest level with our free online games. You will find games for boys and games for girls, motorcycle games, cooking games, online chess to connect and meet friends. Immerse yourself in the fun with exclusive free online games that you will have to pay elsewhere, but at Juegosgratis.com we give you the opportunity to see the games to play for free.Jueguitos gratis

ruthderan
ruthderan on December 5, 2021 at 12:35 am

Hi there, I discovered your blog per Google bit searching for such kinda educational advise moreover your inform beholds very remarkable for me.우리카지노

makebo
makebo on December 16, 2021 at 7:51 am

Very easily this site will most likely undoubtedly perhaps end up being popular including numerous weblogs individuals, because of its painstaking content pieces or possibly views.Check rates

saish
saish on December 16, 2021 at 8:21 am

The American Pfizer Pharmaceutical Factory Granville Steel, 100% authentic guarantee, we pay attention to quality, efficiency, and integrity. Wei Er Steel helps ED (impotence) patients regain their sexual happiness; allows ED patients to live a satisfactory sex life and restore family happiness and sexual happiness.男人的心聲

nomikhan56
nomikhan56 on December 16, 2021 at 11:22 am

Here at Hazzler, we truly believe we have some of the most innovative products in the world and we back that up with our Customer Satisfaction Guarantee. Our Customer Support team will do our best to ensure you are 100% satisfied with your purchase.android smartwatch for men

makebo
makebo on December 18, 2021 at 12:39 am

Awesome! I thank you your contribution to this matter. It has been insightful. my blog: how to make a girl like you犀利士網購

cocel20253
cocel20253 on December 19, 2021 at 3:26 am

Luxury Car Service Denver provides high-quality black cars with top-notch professional drivers for any corporate event. We also provide wedding limousine in Denver. We strive to become one of the best Denver limo companies.Limousine

ruthderan
ruthderan on December 21, 2021 at 10:55 pm

I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the new stuff you post.파워볼사이트

makebo
makebo on December 23, 2021 at 2:47 am

It was any enjoyment discovering your site the other day. We arrived the following these days searching new things. I was not necessarily frustrated. Your ideas following fresh methods about this point have been beneficial plus an outstanding assist with individually. We value You taking away time for you to write out these products and then for uncovering your ideas.陽藥使用方法

makebo
makebo on December 24, 2021 at 10:20 pm

This particular Are generally Weight Loss diet will be an very and flexible sticking to your diet training planned for those who find themselves looking for to get slimmer body moreover eventually maintain a significantly more healthy life style. weight losswww.sagaming360.com

cocel20253
cocel20253 on January 1, 2022 at 5:56 am

EAT-AND-GO VERIFICATION AND TOTO SITE RECOMMENDATION COMMUNITY For users who have a lot of worries while using Toto and difficulties in verifying food, you can use it without any worries.먹튀검증

makebo
makebo on January 2, 2022 at 1:13 am

Great job for publishing such a beneficial web site. Your web log isn’t only useful but it is additionally really creative too. There tend to be not many people who can certainly write not so simple posts that artistically. Continue the nice writingINDIAN VISA FOR AUSTRALIAN CITIZENS

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment