Rural Missouri - April 2022 - 61

venue but the variety of entertainment is outstanding. "
Past popular performances since the grand reopening in
2009 have included Las Vegas magician Rick Thomas and
comedian/mind reader Paul Draper. Musical performances
have included The Wee Heavies, a St. Louis-based a cappella
group influenced by Scottish, Irish and American
folk music, the talented sibling band Dawson Hollow and
crooner Dean Christopher showcasing his Dean Martin Rat
Pack vocal influences.
Using blueprints and photos from decades ago, restoration
began to return the Finke to its original splendor.
Seats were taken out, cleaned and reupholstered. Wood
floors were refinished, as were the original floor aisle
lights. Art deco wall sconces were rewired and polished.
Auditorium wall tiles were painstakingly painted from scaffolding.
Based on the original stained glass Finke sign, a
new sign was designed and set in place above the doubledoor
entrance. A new sound system similar to one used at
Nashville's Grand Ole Opry was purchased and installed.
Due to the generosity of a local benefactor, the building
next door was donated to add options such as wheelchairaccessible
restrooms and a spacious concession area
featuring a beautiful grand piano.
" When the renovation was going on, our doors were
" The fact that this theatre has been
around since 1885 speaks volumes
as to how important local arts
of all levels are. "
- Sara Holtsclaw
The California Opera House as it would have appeared in the late
1800s. Today, the historical Finke Theatre is home to a wide variety of
performing arts and lives on due to support received from area businesses,
grants and patrons statewide. Photo courtesy Finke Theatre.
open so the public could come in and see what a facelift
the theatre was receiving, " says Sara. " It was important
to us that the community supporting these changes could
watch the transformation. "
The venue offers 280 seats, also making a unique location
for meetings, workshops and weddings.
Season ticket holders comprise about half of the seats
sold for events, with the remainder offered to the public for
$15 in advance for adults or $7 for students 14 and under.
Adult season passes are $80 with student season passes
offered for $40. Both passes include a ticket for each of the
theatre's 10 regular season performances. According to
Sara, many season ticket holders drive well over an hour to
attend performances.
" Having the Finke Theatre in our town keeps the Finke's
legacy part of the community history, " says Sara. " I think
Mr. Finke would be proud to see how we're working to preserve
the theatre for future generations to enjoy. "
While local businesses and ticket buyers are vital,
grants to the theatre from the Missouri Arts Council also
help the Finke book quality shows for patrons.
" I feel the talented performers we're able to bring to a
performance art venue like ours rivals that of the larger
towns in our state, " adds Marj. " Besides that, it's doubtful
you can go to dinner and see a show the caliber of what
the Finke Theatre offers for the ticket price. We're lucky to
have such a local gem. "
While the group has completed the main portion of their
renewal plans, the board is hopeful to add conference room
and office space on the second floor as additional funds
become available. Until then, the show must go on and
what a showstopper the Finke Theatre is once again.
Finke Theatre's administrator, Sara Holtsclaw, right, helps a patron locate
tickets for a performance. Sara and a host of dedicated volunteers are
part of the charm that makes attending an event at Finke a memorable
time for all ages.
For more information contact Finke Theatre at 573-6919939
or follow the theatre on social media. Tickets may be
purchased at www.finketheatre.com. Finke Theatre is located
at 315 N. High Street in California.
APRIL 2022 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP 61
http://www.finketheatre.com http://www.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Rural Missouri - April 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - April 2022

Contents
Rural Missouri - April 2022 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - April 2022 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - April 2022 - Contents
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Rural Missouri - April 2022 - Cover3
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