Due to part of its drop ceiling creating a “significant safety” situation, The Grand Theatre is suspending performances until Feb. 23. The “wear and tear” issues were discovered Feb. 2, prior to The Travelin’ McCourys’ concert that evening.
“Some members of the theater staff arrived shortly before 3 p.m. on Saturday for our 7 p.m. show,” said Matt Santini, administrator for The Grand Theatre and mayor of Cartersville. “The band was scheduled to arrive at 3:30. They [noticed] that a portion of the drop ceiling had a sort of bowl shape to it. It was positioned in the front portion of the theater — the left side speaker to the center of the theater and positioned over the stage and covering the first eight to 10 rows of the theater.
“It didn’t take long to realize that this created a significant safety issue in the theater, since we didn’t know if the ceiling would sag worse or even fall. For public safety reasons, canceling the show was an easy decision. The band agreed, and we felt it was best to reschedule the concert.”
Commending The Grand’s staff members, Santini shared their response efforts went “above and beyond.”
“While this was an unfortunate situation, I am extremely proud of the job that our entire staff did to get the word out to the public,” he said. “Keep in mind, we canceled a sold-out show at 4 p.m., which was only three hours before show time. We put ‘canceled’ on the marquee and put signs on the doors to the theater. We also had staff outside to answer any questions until after the scheduled show time. We were able to send an email to all the ticket purchasers informing them of the event being postponed, and we also pushed out information on Instagram and Facebook.
“Our staff then began calling those patrons who were coming from the farthest locations to tell them about the situation before they drove to the theater. They worked tirelessly to do that until they were calling people in Cartersville. That was really going above and beyond to serve our theater guests. Our entire team made a bad situation as good as could be expected. They do it all the time, but the team effort was fantastic. All of our guests understood and were appreciative of the service. Even those who showed up to the theater were supportive and friendly.”
Situated at 7 N. Wall St., the 500-seat Grand Theatre was founded in 1910.
Along with The Travelin’ McCourys’ concert, Etowah Jazz Society’s Valentine’s performance Feb. 16 will be impacted as well. While The Travelin’ McCourys’ show was rescheduled at The Grand for Feb. 24 at 3 p.m., EJS’ “A Decade of Favorites” — which will serve as a fundraiser for Will2Way Foundation — now has a change of venue.
The big band concert will be presented at Cartersville First Baptist Church, 241 Douthit Ferry Road, Feb. 16 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Details on the event can be obtained by visiting www.eventbrite.com and searching for “Etowah Jazz Society” in “Cartersville.”
“We believe the ceiling issue happened sometime between Friday at 5 o’clock and 3 o’clock on Saturday, and it seems to be [simply an] issue of wear and tear,” Santini said. “The ceiling grid was put in 30 years ago, and over that time it appears that some to the supports have pulled out and dropped. A member of the Cartersville Fire Department and the Building Inspector’s Office were called to the theater on Saturday shortly after the problem was noticed. They determined that the problem created a public safety issue. We have had construction crews working on the drop ceiling throughout the theater to re-secure the failing portions and add additional supports to the ceiling.
“We anticipate having the project done by Friday, Feb. 15, and then begin a thorough cleaning of the theater. Because of that time frame, the Etowah Jazz Society’s Valentine’s concert has been moved to Cartersville First Baptist Church. All ticket purchases for The Grand have been refunded and the band has set up an Eventbrite site for their relocated event. We are confident that we will be up and running for our next show on Saturday, Feb. 23, ‘Senior Shenanigans,’ and then The Travelin’ McCourys on Sunday. Everyone at The Grand Theatre is very appreciative of the community support and understanding while we make these repairs, and we look forward to having everyone back for some great entertainment.”
Echoing Santini’s comments, The Grand’s Terri Cox also described the theater’s patrons as “very understanding and supportive” when they learned about the initial cancellation of The Travelin’ McCourys show.
“We will continue to keep the public informed on our website and Facebook page,” said Cox, program director for The Grand. “… Our ‘Grand Lady’ has stood the test of time. She needs a little help right now, and we are working with a great team to make sure she is up and running again as soon as possible. The shows will go on!”
For more information about The Travelin’ McCourys’ makeup concert or other shows, visit thegrandtheatre.org or call 770-386-7343.
“The original tickets for [The Travelin’ McCourys’] show will work for the rescheduled show, so no action is needed for those who have already purchased tickets,” Santini said. “Those who are unable to attend this makeup date can contact The Grand Theatre ticket office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and will be issued a full refund for their tickets. Ticket holders were contacted by email with this information.
“We have asked for those requests to be submitted by 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22. Those requesting a refund are asked to do so at your earliest convenience, so we can accommodate the many people who would like to purchase tickets to the show. The remaining seats and those seats that have been returned are on sale now online at thegrandtheatre.org.”