Although it isn’t quite the same as enjoying a live concert in Miner’s Theatre, live streaming on Facebook (Miner’s Theatre) will begin Sunday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. at Collinsville’s historic landmark).
The Music from Miners lineup begins June 12 with Meatwood Flack and continues on July 19 with Strange Buffalo with more live streaming concerts in the works.
In addition to showcasing local talent, live stream concerts will hopefully keep potential audiences aware of the ongoing work to renovate and reopen Miner’s Theatre permanently.
“We plan to feature live concerts eventually but in the meantime, we can use the theatre for live streaming to keep everyone aware of our plans to reopen Miner’s,” said Vicki Borror, Miner’s Institute Foundation president.
Anyone familiar with Miner’s Theatre knows this is the second time a pandemic has complicated first the opening, and now the reopening of the storied building.
“The grand opening had to be delayed to the end of December of 1918 because of the ban on public gatherings during the 1918 flu pandemic,” Borror said. “We made progress last year with renovation projects and planned to open for smaller events this year – plays, recitals, concerts and meetings. But once again in the 102-year history of Miner’s, a pandemic stood in the way of opening.”
Renovations last year included new HVAC equipment, plaster work from the local plasterers’ union, the hiring of an event coordinator and cleaning of seats and the stage.
In October, the CHS Drama Club opened its production of “Dracula” in the theatre and in November the local theater group Curtain’s Up presented “Love, Loss, and What I Wore.”
But reopening the theatre is still on the agenda complete with social-distancing rules and proper procedures.
“We have ideas and plans, but of course, everything is on hold right now,” she said.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Miner’s Theatre was funded by local union coal miners and opened on Dec. 28, 1918 as a performance space, the United Mine Workers of America union hall and a place to hold community events.
Although the Miner’s Institute Foundation has made significant progress toward the restoration of the theatre, there is still much to do. The not-for-profit group is seeking monetary contributions and organized labor unions willing to join in the project by donating their labor.