POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - A 25 year-old tradition in Pocahontas shut down by last year's flooding will open their doors back up this weekend after nearly a yearlong drought.
"It filled it up like a swimming pool in here. We probably could have raised money by having a pool party," said Artistic Director Kelly Grooms.
The Imperial Dinner Theatre is a long standing tradition in Pocahontas. "We've had a good following for the better part of 20 years," said Grooms.
But last Spring, while in the middle of a run of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat..."Mother nature gave us all a year, well gave the audience a year off and put us to work harder than we've ever worked before," said Grooms.
He says the facility suffered over 170-thousand dollars in damages. "From a production stand point, it's almost like we're starting over," said Grooms.
Considering the losses and the theater a non-profit organization, the odds to be able to get the theater back off the ground were slim. But, the community and surrounding area refused to let the theatre sink.
"We have had considerable help, considerable is not even the word, we've had so much help from donors from day one. The day that the city let us back on this side of town, we had so many people that first day I couldn't keep them all working.," said Grooms.
And nearly a year later, volunteers and staff are wrapping up flood renovations for a grand re-opening Saturday night to what's expected to be a sold out show. "It's nice to see that the people still remember us. I mean the phone's been ringing all day long. We're putting some people on other nights even because the groups are so large," said Grooms.
And when the doors open this weekend, guests are in for a treat. "It's just a brand new look and a brand new experience throughout with the same ole friendly faces and the same goof balls that we've always put on the stage," said Grooms.
Grooms also says for the first time the theatre has new tables and seating. Tickets for dinner and show are $24.95 (general public) and $21.95 (students). For the show only it's $15.00 (general public) and $12.00 (students).
Performances for the production of It Runs in the Family will take place-
March 17, 18, 23, 24, 31
April 1, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 27, 28, 29
May 4, 5
For more information about the Imperial Dinner Theatre visit their website at http://www.imperialdinnertheatre.com/imperial/Welcome.html