Feb 20, 2024 - Music

Rogers to offer live music at revamped theater

Illustration of a microphone cord forming a line chart going up.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Victory Theater — the nearly 100-year-old downtown Rogers venue that is home to community theater productions — is about to also be a concert site.

What's happening: The theater has been closed for renovations and is scheduled to reopen next month. The city plans to regularly host live music there, Rogers arts and culture coordinator Kinya Christian told Axios.

Why it matters: The move means programming music year-round instead of only during the summer at Butterfield Stage. The plan is to have local and touring musicians from various genres at accessible prices, Christian said. Starting prices for scheduled shows so far are $25-$40.

Background: The city has owned the historic building since 2008. Arkansas Public Theatre, a volunteer community theater nonprofit, performs there.

Context: The city has ramped up its involvement in the arts in the past few years — like building Butterfield Stage at Railyard Park downtown and offering a free summer concert series.

Details: The $3 million Victory Theater renovation includes transforming the cabaret-style seating to a traditional layout — going from 170 seats on the lower level to 319, Christian said. The balcony will keep its 126 seats.

  • The work also includes sound, lighting and concession upgrades.

What they're saying: The change has potential to bring more attention to the arts as a whole in downtown, Axios learned from Ed McClure, artistic director at Arkansas Public Theatre. Someone may come for a play and find out about a concert and vice versa.

  • APT will continue to have six shows a year at the venue; it previously had eight.

What's next: The first show, featuring Grammy-winning jazz artist Pat Metheny, is set for March 13. Get tickets.

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