GRAHAM (KFDX/KJTL) — A new upgrade inside a long-time Texoma staple should help offer great entertainment there for many more decades to come.
The most extensive renovation to Graham Memorial Auditorium was back in 2014, when $2.5 million was spent on the building, but after just over 25 years, the auditorium finally got a much-needed upgrade to its stage lights.
“We think that we are making some upgrades that will benefit this auditorium for years to come,” Graham city manager Brandon Anderson said.
Those upgrades to the 90-year-old auditorium were made possible by the former and current auditorium managers Jerry McDowell and Mandy Logan.
“They’ve done a really good job of picking out the right equipment, jerry did his research, mandy has done a lot of training and research and the city has put a lot of resources into something that is beneficial for everyone who uses this space,” Graham Regional Theatre managing director Christian Sanders said.
Support from the community was also instrumental in making the upgrades happen.
“Projects like this are not possible without the benevolence and foundations we’ve got here in Graham, and also the reserve we have that we are working off of came from the Harry Bettis estate, and without those kinds of funds it’s really difficult for a city to find the expendable income to invest in arts,” Anderson said.
The newer lights will not only save money but will also help put on a better show for the audience.
“It’s hard to know what you’re missing until you see it, and then once you see it, it takes shows that are already really good and then stepping them up that much more,” said Sanders.
Stepping them up toward the level of other beloved auditorium’s in the country.
“We want to bring a new york style production, and we’ve been doing that for years, and we’ve been doing our best with whatever we have and the city sees the benefit so now that the city sees the benefit, so now that the city and everyone’s on board, I’m going to get to come in a program these lights in such a way it that will make the audience feel as if they just saw a broadway show,” Sanders said.
They are hoping the 780 seat auditorium will be filled up to see Josh Withers and Seth James to show off the new lights at the next show on Jan. 21.