New Life at the Lincoln Theater

Last week, I attended a concert at the Lincoln Theater. It was the first time I had been there since many improvements had been made. I wanted to see the progress and support those who have put so much effort into bringing the 100+ year-old theater back to life. It was good, though I did get a lot of ribbing at work.

Lee Greenwood isn’t exactly a regular in my Spotify playlists. The only song I knew was, “God Bless the USA”, which became very popular after 9/11. The crowd was definitely far more conservative than I. There were a lot of jokes about California, where Greenwood grew up. He seemed to feel the need to apologize multiple times for not being native to the hills of Tennessee or having grown up next to Loretta Lynn’s log cabin. I wanted to tell him, that it’s okay. We’re Yankees too.

Lincoln Theater Interior, December 2022

Anyway, I enjoyed the concert, and he had a very good singing voice, especially at 80 years old and nursing a cold. I do want to thank him for coming to Decatur and supporting the theater.

I took my son along with me, since he had never seen the inside of the theater. I wanted him to learn some of the history of Decatur and develop a connection to it. He is a country music fan, so I didn’t have to drag him there, so it worked out.

We sat at the very last row of the highest balcony. I had never seen the theater from that vantage point. I didn’t even see the new seating or floors, though I have seen photos of them on Facebook. Instead, I saw all the work that remains, and there’s still plenty to do.

Most of the theater needs to be replastered, and that won’t be easy. The ceilings are tall, and there are ornate details that only a true craftsman or artist could pull off. It’s not like slapping up drywall. Somebody is going to need some serious skills, and that doesn’t come cheap.

The theater is also in need of new lighting. It was an issue throughout the concert. The stage lighting was fine, but the wall sconces are in dire need of replacement. At one point, they seemed to flicker to the beat of the music. I couldn’t tell if that was supposed to be happening, or they were simply going haywire.

Lee Greenwood at the Lincoln Theater

Since volunteers man the lighting board, it was noticeable that they were still learning the ropes. At the end of the concert, they forgot, or we’re unable to turn the lights back on. Everyone had to use their phones to light the way. Nobody complained, though.

I can put up with patchy plaster and flickering lights if it means there’s life again in that old building. My house is far from perfect. Old houses and old buildings have their issues, just like old people. That doesn’t mean you tear them down or give up on them.

A couple other acts were announced for future concerts. The Little River Band will be coming in March. I’d like to see them. They were very popular in the 80s.

If you get the chance, catch a show or two and support the ongoing work. If I can sit with a bunch of Republicans in a dark theater and live to tell the tale, you can too. 🙂

Seriously, it was very enjoyable and thanks to all the hardworking volunteers who made it happen.

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