An illusionist and a 1950s-inspired musical are joining the lineup at the new live theater in Surfside Beach.
The family-friendly performances are the latest added to the evolving lineup at The Grand Theatre, which took over the former Legends in Concert and Celebration Music Theatre space off U.S. 17 Business in May. The theater doubles as Journey Church on Sundays, with a for-profit formed to run the theater.
The new acts might be familiar for some Grand Strand locals and visitors. Grand Illusions, which starts July 21, features Brandon Wagster from Columbia who has toured for eight years including stops along the Grand Strand with assistant Hannah Lynne.
The other new show, “The Marvelous Wonderettes,” will be the venue’s first dinner show, though guests have the option of paying $10 extra for the meal or just paying $29.99 for the show ticket. The show features ‘50s tunes as characters attend a prom, then after intermission, the reunion. The show starts in mid-August and will run through the end of the year, possibly longer, said Kelly Burton, the theater’s general manager.
Also joining the lineup: Dino’s TV Variety Show, which also has stopped at other Grand Strand venues during the past seven years. It will start at The Grand Theatre in September.
Christian music concerts, including one by Russ Taff on Sept. 2, also will be part of the theater’s regular mix, Burton said.
The venue jumped out of the gate as the summer season started gearing up with the Hawaiian show “Aloha Y’all,” which will continue until September and might return.
“We are obviously going for that family-friendly atmosphere,” Burton said.
Business has been growing slowly, with no events yet selling out the 900-seat venue, but that’s what officials expected with limited marketing dollars and not much ramp-up time before the summer, Burton said.
“Longevity is the goal here,” she said. “It’s growing steadily. With limited marketing dollars, it’s not a surprise to have small crowds.”
The venue has attracted residents from nearby neighborhoods and visitors to the Grand Strand who stumble on it, Burton said.
“They are driving by and seeing what’s going on,” she said.
The theater will have performances year-round, with officials still putting the final touches on the fall and holiday lineups, Burton said.
Land tied to Hard Rock Park goes back to original owner
Land that was eventually supposed to have a Hard Rock hotel went back to its original owner after the property wasn’t bought at this month’s county foreclosure auction.
The vacant 27 acres along the Intracoastal Waterway was returned to Rosen Investments, led by Dick Rosen, the former president of AVX Corp. Rosen had sold the property to Myrtle Property Owners II in October 2005 as the spot for a Hard Rock Hotel to tie into the theme park with the same branding that was then in the works nearby.
Hard Rock Park failed in 2008 after one summer, and the hotel was never built. Rosen and investors with Myrtle Property Owners II -- including Amnon Bar-Tur, cofounder and managing partner of Safe Harbor Capital Partners that has invested millions in real estate in the United States and United Kingdom, and real estate developer Ziel Feldman -- also invested in the theme park.
Myrtle Property Owners II owed $8 million on the waterway hotel site, plus $960,865.57 in interest, according to court filings. The property was among those up for sale July 2 during Horry County’s monthly foreclosure auction.
Since Hard Rock Park closed, the theme park has had a second unsuccessful run, as Freestyle Music Park, which closed in 2009 after a failed summer. The park has sat idle ever since. Nearly a year ago, the park went back to the mortgage holder, FPI US LLC, who intended to find a buyer or group to reopen the park for this summer, but that didn’t happen.
Contact DAWN BRYANT at 626-0296 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_dawnbryant.