Melba Theater named to group

Melba Theater Renovations
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - A historic landmark in downtown Batesville is now a member of the Theatre Historical Society of America.

The Melba Theater, which opened in 1940 and underwent renovations and reopened in 2016, was picked to be an affiliate of the society. The group has nearly 18,000 theaters across the United States in their archives, officials said Wednesday.

Crews worked last year in making the old theater new again.

At the time, the co-owner of the building Joe Shell said they have been working to renovate the place since last March.

He said they recently started work on the exterior of the building.

Since then, he said they have had many people asking when it will be open.

Shell said they will open on a Friday, they just do not know which Friday.

He said one of their reasons for renovating the Melba is the history behind the building.

"We have so many people who have stories, people I go to church with," Shell said. "There's one couple I used to go to church with and they came up to me and said 'Hey, I was selling tickets at the Melba back in the 1950's and that's where I met my husband.'"

The owners plan to keep the single screen theater and offer affordable tickets to families.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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