Damage inside and out from Hurricane Matthew has prompted cancellations of all shows through year’s end at the Palace Theatre in Myrtle Beach.
“Hot Jersey Nights,” the Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons tribute, was slated to continue through Oct. 27, before “Christmas Wonderland” took the stage in early November, going through December. A Ron White concert scheduled for Oct. 8 also was canceled, ahead of Hurricane Matthew barreling across the Grand Strand that day.
Jay Lodge, chief executive officer of the Palace Theatre and Spirit Productions USA, spoke Monday afternoon of hopes to resume shows in late winter or early spring, the usual start-up time every year after a post-Christmas break.
He said besides the wind’s toll taken on the roof and exterior of the building – which opened in September 1995 on the southwest corner of Broadway at the Beach, at 21st Avenue North and U.S. 17 – “we had quite a lot water damage inside,” where “it’s pretty bad.”
Customers who already had purchased tickets for shows are being alerted of forthcoming refunds, Lodge said, and box office assistance resumed Monday, but only by telephone, at 843-448-0588 or 800-905-4228.
“We’re just working through the process now,” Lodge said. “The more damage we saw, with insurance adjusters and engineers here, it became more apparent that it would be impossible to reopen for our Christmas show.”
Pending the theater’s reopening in early spring, Lodge said, the show lineup for the year remains as planned, with “Rock Around the Clock” for late winter into spring and in autumn, the return of “Cirque Extreme” for a second year, from March through September, as well as “Magic Mayhem: The Show” in summer, and “Christmas Wonderland” in November and December 2017.
Heading up a crew of theater personnel, including artists, ushers and box office personnel being apprised of the temporary closure, Lodge called all the employees “a fantastic team,” but the past workweek and start to this week is “very sad” for all, especially ahead of the festive yuletide season.
Lodge said with plans to “rebuild” and repair the site so it’s safe again for employees and to entertain patrons, the steps will be more “onward and upward.” Check the theater’s website for updates into the new year, at www.palacemb.com.
Across Broadway at the Beach, a Palace production continues roaring in its second year, “Dinosaurs – The Exhibition.” It’s open 10 a.m. daily, off 29th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach, between Ripley’s Aquarium and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. Its season already had been extended through November, and that run possibly could go another month, Lodge said. Details on the dinos at 843-808-9619, 888-841-2787 or www.dinosaursmb.com.
Contact STEVE PALISIN at 843-444-1764.