SPRINGFIELD - A lot has happened at the Mars Theatre since reopening its doors in 2014. More than 47,000 tickets have been sold for movies with visitors coming as far away as from Anchorage Alaska.
“Affordable movies and concessions are why many people keep coming back,” Allison Newberry, Theater Director for The Mars said. “People have really enjoyed seeing these classic movies in a historic theater.”
The popular kids’ movie series ‘Two for Tuesdays’ will return this summer, beginning June 6 for eight weeks, with showtimes at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. In addition, Classic Movie Matinées take place one Sunday a month at 3 pm.
Movies aren’t the only thing happening at the theatre. The Mars welcomes musical acts who performing everything from bluegrass and southern rock to gospel, Motown and country.
Last year, there were sellout shows for Motown favorite the Drifters and country legend John Anderson.
Looking back on the success of the previous year, Newberry is excited about the upcoming events planned for 2017.
“We’ve got our first gospel concert in May featuring the Anchormen, one of the premier quartets in Christian music,” she said.
A tribute to the legendary Johnny Cash is scheduled for July, and country acts Two Way Crossing and Backroad Anthem are also slated to appear this year.
Actor Bill Oberst Jr. is scheduled to perform Lewis Grizzard “In His Own Words” on August 26, not to mention a holiday show featuring acapella group Eclipse 6.
In addition to the eclectic mix of performances and movies to come in 2017, the theatre is also planning an expansion project that will take place this fall.
“The upcoming expansion will allow us to bring larger acts into the theatre. Right now our performers have to use city council chambers to change and eat before shows,” City Manager Brett Bennett said. “It will be nice to have everything under one roof.”
This includes expanding the size of the stage, adding a green room and dressing rooms for the artists, as well as needed storage space.
Newberry would also like to thank a group of businesses and individuals known as the Friends of the Mars.
“The number of sponsors has increased each year,” Newberry said.
“Because of their support, we have been able to bring more well-known live events to the theater.”
There are unique benefits that sponsorships allow such as recognition on the screen before every movie, a logo on the digital marquee located on Highway 21, and sponsoring a live event or blockbuster movie premiere.
Tangible benefits can include tickets to live events, gift cards, movie passes and popcorn vouchers.
You can find more information about movies and live events, plus purchase advance tickets at www.marstheatre.com.