Dr. Daniel Barnard said he intended to make a big splash at the opening of Philadelphia’s Ellis Theater.
Phase 1 of the $40 million project, which will eventually house Marty Stewart’s vast collection of country music, kicked off with a four-night grand reopening weekend in December.
“It was a blast to see Marty Stewart, Ricky Skaggs and Bill Gather together in four days,” said Barnard, Executive Director of the Country Music Conference. “There’s been a lot of people in town this past week. I think we created the splash we intended.”
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The Ellis restores a 100-year-old facility to serve the community once again.
The Ellis Theater was built as a silent cinema in 1926 by the late Henry Bell Hutchison. In recent years, it has served as a performance space for the Philadelphia Neshoba County Arts Council.
“It’s a long-term situation right now, and we’re waiting to see the impact on the community as we move forward,” Barnard said.
The long-term impact appears to be well positioned, as the new restaurant will open right next to the Ellis Theater on Philadelphia’s Plaza. It says it is in talks with the chain to build and open a hotel in its downtown footprint.
“A lot of people came to the grand opening and stayed at the Golden Moon reservation, and that’s fine,” Bernard said. “But Philadelphia really needs hotels, and this seems like a tipping point for hotels and many other economic development opportunities.”
Barnard said that once the project is fully launched, it will be an even bigger achievement for the country music conference, as it will be a regional raffle.
“People will come from all over the world to see the collections and performances,” he said.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony included three prayers by Philadelphia Mayor James Young, Choctaw Mayor Cyrus Benn, and State Senator Jennifer Branning. Marty Stuart and Connie Smith, along with the rest of his VIP attendees, joined the Choctaw Dancers for a special performance on the streets of downtown Philadelphia, Mayor Young, Chief His Ben, Marty Stuart and others at this important event. I made a speech praising the opportunity.
Opening night’s performance was headlined by Marty Stewart and his fine superlatives, along with special performances by Connie Smith and John Tavius Willis. The weekend was followed by Ricky Scaggs, Vince Gill, and Bill Gaither, highlighting a star-studded season at the Ellis Theater in downtown Philadelphia.
Looking ahead to the first weekend, Barnard said returns were positive.
“We had a big debriefing about it. There’s always one or two things we could do better, but by and large, we got what we wanted,” he said. “Our intention was to be as inclusive as we could. We feel we’ve done it and will continue to do so.”
The Ellis Theater will continue its first season with a variety of shows including Hardy from Mississippi. Performances at his historic Ellis theater provide an intimate setting, making Magnolia State a spiritual home for country music, the promoter said.
Barnard said the Country Music Conference’s mission is to recapture, redefine and reintroduce the true heart and soul of country music.
“As country music’s most prominent ambassador and crusader of the culture’s major archetypes, Marty Stewart’s mission is to preserve and promote the cultural authenticity of country music to future generations,” he said. rice field.
They claim the Congress of Country Music is home to the world’s largest private collection of country music.
Next up for Ellis is the Old Crow Medicine Show on January 8th and Dervish on February 24th. The North Mississippi All-Stars will make her appearance on April 14th.
Phase 2 of the Marty Stuart Country Music Conference will build a new community center and conference space just north of the theater. Featuring huge cathedral-style windows arched to a central point at the top, the building pays tribute to the legendary Ryman Auditorium, home of Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974 represents.
The final stage will be the Museum and Education Wing at the back, which will house Stuart’s personal collection of more than 20,000 country music memorabilia.
Includes boots, hats, other clothing, personal items, handwritten manuscripts, vehicles, and vintage guitars owned by musicians such as Charlie Pride, Pop Staples, Johnny Cash, and Jimmy Rogers. Some of these items are currently on display at Jackson through December as part of the “The World of Marty Stuart” exhibition at his two museums in Mississippi.