Robinson Center performances moving to Maumelle during renovatio - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Robinson Center performances moving to Maumelle during renovations

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Maumelle Performing Arts Center Maumelle Performing Arts Center

MAUMELLE (KATV) - The Robinson Center will officially shut down for renovations on July 1, begging the question of where those performances will go for the next two years.  Celebrity Attractions, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Ballet Arkansas are all moving their performances to Maumelle.

"We have worked with all of our partners to find new homes while we're under construction here," said Gretchen Hall, president and CEO of the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The place most partners chose was Maumelle High School's auditorium – now being referred to as the Maumelle Performing Arts Center, and rightfully so.

"There will be four Celebrity Attraction productions, six ASO Masterworks productions and the Nutcracker," said Becky Guthrie, principal of Maumelle High School.

With seating for 1,250 people, impeccable acoustics, an orchestra pit, large stage and the one thing no other central Arkansas facility has – a fly space – there really wasn't any other option for relocation.

"This facility met the criteria," said Guthrie, commenting on Celebrity Attraction's need for that fly space for their Broadway-style shows.

The Pulaski County Special School District stands to make nearly $90,000 from the contract with all three companies over the next two years.  But will the 20 minute drive from Little Rock keep people from frequenting these shows?  Not so says Maumelle.

"The three main organizations that are using our facility, many or most of the patrons of those organizations already live in Maumelle," said Guthrie.

LRCVB, although acknowledging the shows won't be in Little Rock itself, they don't say the shows moving to Maumelle is a bad thing.

"The alternative was that they just lose those seasons," said Hall.  "We don't want to lose the seasons, we want to continue to provide great entertainment to central Arkansas."

Maumelle's space is roughly half the size of the Robinson, but Hall mentioned that's why most shows have added an extra day of performances when they start at Maumelle High in the fall.

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