By JESSICA WETZLER
Daily News-Record 12/10/20
After the closure of Harrisonburg’s Regal Cinemas and Court Square Theater, the only theater capable of showing movies between the areas of Staunton and Woodstock is Bridgewater’s Sipe Center.
Now town staff are looking to see how that can play to their advantage.
During Tuesday’s Town Council meeting, Public Works Director Megan Byler told council members and town staff that performances are being scheduled for 2021. While it is unlikely the multipurpose theater will open in January, Byler said performances have been pushed to March.
Limited capacity inside the theater will still be observed.
“The schedule is more condensed,” she said. “Those [acts] canceled in 2020 have been rescheduled for 2021, but we also have new acts.”
When the theater opened in November 2019, the turnout exceeded town staff’s expectations. Within three months, the Sipe Center brought in $ 94,000 in revenue and hosted several sold-out shows.
One of those shows was The Atlantic City Boys, who will be returning in 2021.
“They were our most popular show,” Byler said.
Of the new acts coming to town, Byler said Mississippi’s Ballet Magnificat will perform “A Christmas Carol” and The Steel Wheels, known for hosting the Red Wing Roots Music Festival, will also have a show.
“They will have a warm welcome in the Sipe Center,” she said.
Byler also provided council members with an update on the town’s ice-skating rink at Generations Park, which opened on Thanksgiving Day.
In a previous interview with the Daily News-Record, parks coordinator Tess Croy said the town introduced modifications to operations to ensure visitors have a safe experience.
The town limited capacity to 27 skaters per session, with each session lasting one hour.
Tickets for skating are now required and can be purchased in advance through ThunderTix on the town’s website.
Byler said the ice rink has had a “successful start” to its sixth season, adding that there have been 1,338 skate sessions as of Tuesday. For the 2019-20 season, there were a total of 13,237 skating sessions.
With the help of purchasing tickets in advance, Byler said there have been 1,695 tickets sold this season.
The ice rink is expected to be open until March 7.