Kentucky Roxy Prepping

Volunteers are working hard to prepare a historic theatre in southern Kentucky for its reopening.

The Roxy Theatre in Franklin is scheduled to open its doors on March 2. Volunteer Richard Perry told the Daily News of Bowling Green that the first act will be the band A Step Ahead, which will feature Grand Old Opry square dancers Larry and Cheryl Chunn.

“The owner (Brad Gregory) just kind of turned it over to us and said, ‘Take it and run with it,’ and that’s what we’ve done,” Perry said.

Perry says volunteers that include country music artist manager Marc Dottore want to make the theatre a haven for bluegrass music.

“Everybody has a different kind of experience that they can bring to the table,” said Dottore, who has been working on the lighting and sound system.

He says the idea now is to have a featured bluegrass artist playing there every Friday night and also to give others the opportunity to jam.

“You know how bluegrass festivals are, with artists jamming in every corner,” Dottore said. “We want to make this really organic like that and hope to have that same kind of atmosphere indoors.”

Dottore says the volunteers eventually want to establish a nonprofit organization to oversee the theater.

“We think this is a really cool space and nobody is in this for the money,” he said. “We are looking at two models of existing venues along that line, Belcourt Theatre in Nashville and the Bluebird Caf that is owned by the Nashville Songwriters Association.”

In the meantime, Dottore is trying to recruit more volunteers to help keep the facility open.

“Our idea is to have consistent programming every Friday night. So if you are a bluegrass enthusiast or musician, you know there is a place you can gather on a weekly basis,” he said. “And on Sundays we will have an upscale southern brunch.”

Perry said there won’t be a cover charge on Friday night, but a hat will be passed around to help pay for the band.