The shows, presented by G Entertainment, will feature gospel music, country music, comedy and even open-mic nights.
The facility seats about 350 people, and two preview shows recently resulted in standing-room-only crowds.
“Starting this Saturday night (April 9) will be our gospel shows,” said Terry Gifford, CEO for G Entertainment. “On April 14 (Thursday) we will have the start of our country shows. It’s a country/variety/comedy show. Something like you would see down at the Comedy Barn in Pigeon Forge (Tennessee) That’s every Thursday night.”
Gifford said starting April 19 (Tuesday) G Entertainment will present open-mic night.
“Anything at all that somebody wants to do, from comedy to sing, to get up there and quote poetry, if it’s “G” (rated) entertainment they can come on Tuesday nights,” Gifford said.
Gifford said beginning on the last weekend in May, G Entertainment will present a Contemporary and Rock Gospel night, mainly aimed at a younger audience, but also for anyone who enjoys the newer sound in Christian music.
Gifford said the Friday and Saturday night programs begin at 7:30 with doors opening at 6:30, while the Tuesday and Thursday night performances are at 7 with doors open at 6.
About eight years ago, Gifford owned a music store in Waverly, and he said many people came into his store including gospel groups who were looking for a venue in which to perform.
“For years that has been on my mind,” Gifford said. “And God has just been working with me throughout the years to start a gospel jubilee every Saturday night, and it just kind of went from there. Here we are today opening something that has only been a dream for years.”
Gifford said several investors came forward to help him make up his mind to jump into the business.
Since opening the venue, Gifford said G Entertainment has built a stage, installed a sound room, a mezzanine area for cameras and spotlights.
“We’ve got state-of-the-art lighting; a state-of-the-art sound system,” Gifford said. “We put on a show. All these other places around do music, and they’re very good, but we‘re a different type of venue. We actually go in, there’s theater-style seating, and you actually see a show like you would go down to Pigeon Forge.”
Donna Cunningham, winner of five North American Country Music Association International awards including U.S. Entertainer of the Year in 2008, will be performing at the venue. Cunningham echoed the description given by Gifford, that the shows are the caliber of those found in resort areas.
“The first show we’re doing next week (April 14) will be “The Legends of Country Music. We’re doing Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty, and Ronnie Milsap,” Cunningham said. “And the whole time that we’re singing, there will be different pictures of all those folks on the big screen behind us.”
Gifford credits show manager Kaleb Wright with the show format.
“He played down at Dollywood for three years,” Gifford said. “He also played at Kick ‘n Country and at Christmas in the Smokies. We’ve got him up here managing and directing our shows.”
Gifford said tickets for the Thursday and Saturday shows are $10 at the door, $8 in advance. Those 55 and older get in for $7 and anyone in school through college can purchase tickets for $5.
Tickets are available at the Cinema box office, or call (740) 222-1553 and arrange to pick up tickets.
Gifford said G Entertainment’s website, songs23.com, is loaded with information and pictures of artists.
“People can go to the website on a weekly basis, because it changes,” Gifford said. “But they can get information on our up-coming shows. We’re in the process of scheduling. Our full schedule will be on there in two or three weeks, where they can look months ahead as to what is coming up.”