Top Music Acts, Entertainment at Renovated Peoples Bank Theatre< < Back to
After lying dormant for 30 years, a historic Marietta theatre is back, and if recent shows are any indication, its staff has hit the ground running.
Hot on the heels of a well-received performance by comedian Paula Poundstone, the recently renovated Peoples Bank Theater will welcome Grammy Award-winning singer Kathy Mattea for an “Acoustic Living Room” concert this Saturday, March 12 at 8 p.m. Athens singer-songwriter Bruce Dalzell will open the show.
According to Peoples Bank Theatre Marketing Director Drew Tanner, Mattea isn’t the first country music legend to grace the theatre’s stage.
“We have a history of playing host to some of the greats of country music…folks like Ernest Tubb and Kitty Wells. It’s great to be able to continue that tradition with an artist like Kathy Mattea,” he said.
Mattea’s show will kick off a diverse schedule of concerts, from South Africa’s Johnny Clegg (March 25) and award-winning country act The Charlie Daniels Band (April 1) to the big band sounds of The Glenn Miller Orchestra (May 14) and acclaimed singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile (June 7). A number of dance, theater and comedy performances have also been scheduled for 2016.
“What’s exciting about the shows that we’ve had in the short time that we’ve been open is just how strong each has been, even though there has been quite a bit of variety, from acoustic country to touring broadway,” said Tanner. “The performers have praised both the space and the technical crew we’ve assembled.”
The theatre has a rich history. Previously known as The Hippodrome, the building was built in 1919 and featured Broadway shows, vaudeville acts and silent films, accompanied by its own five-piece orchestra. In 1929, The Hippodrome started screening “talkies” and, for the next 30 years, reigned as Marietta’s entertainment hotspot.
Renamed The Colony Cinema in 1949, the theatre hosted some of America’s most famous entertainers, such as Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Stewart, Judy Garland and Rock Hudson, who drew 25,000 screaming fans for the world premiere of his film Battle Hymn in 1957.
From 1975 to 1985, the theatre changed hands several times until low attendance and high heating bills forced its owners to close the doors.
Now the Hippodrome/Colony Historical Theatre Association has returned the theatre to its former glory by renovating and reopening the local landmark, much to the delight of the community.
“The feedback we’ve received from our patrons has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Tanner. “People have been thrilled to see this theatre–which holds so many memories for folks–come back to life.”
Because The Peoples Bank Theatre is now one of the largest venues in southeast Ohio for live music, patrons are making downtown Marietta a destination for entertainment, according to Tanner.
“We really see the theatre complimenting the existing music and arts scene that has been taking shape here,” he explained. “Our stage and capacity is allowing us to draw in national touring artists who would have previously passed the area by, and it’s given us a tremendous venue in which we can showcase the depth of local talent that exists in the Mid-Ohio Valley.”
Tanner said that the staff is making every effort to establish the theatre as a first-class operation, from top-notch artists to the technical quality of each production.
“With any new performance space, you have to figure out how to work with the building, the stage, the sound, the lights…but even as we’re going through this stage of growth, we’re very pleased with just how well each show has gone,” he said. “And we’re constantly incorporating the feedback from our audience so we can make each show better than the next. For those who are coming to see Kathy Mattea’s show and haven’t been to the Peoples Bank Theatre yet, I think they’ll be surprised to see just how intimate a 924-seat concert hall can feel.”
For more information, visit peoplesbanktheatre.com.