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Turnage ready for encore

By Staff
Foundation members to attend private gala scheduled for Saturday
By DAN PARSONS
Staff Writer
Ten years of restoration work culminates this weekend with an opening-night gala and public open house for the Turnage Theater.
Celebrations — private and public — to commemorate the opening of the restored theater are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. Restoration efforts have been ongoing for more than 10 years since the formation of the Turnage Theaters Foundation in 1996. Since then, the foundation has raised about $2.5 million to restore the 1930s-era playhouse.
A private inaugural gala will be held Saturday night for members of the foundation.
Beginning at 6:30 p.m., hors-d’oeuvres and cocktails will be served before a short performance by the East Carolina University School of Theatre and Dance, which is set for 8 p.m., Chumbley said. After that performance, people invited to the event will have an opportunity to eat desserts.
At no cost, the public may tour the theater from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday.
With so many people helping making restoration of the historic theater possible, there is a great anticipation building for opening night, Chumbley said.
City workers toiled diligently Wednesday to install the brick sidewalk in front of the theater.
The first performance scheduled at the theater is one by John McCutcheon. It’s penciled in for Nov. 9. Tickets for that performance are on sale at www.turnagetheatre.com.
The price of a ticket for a Turnage performance will range from $12.50 to $35, depending on seat location. The foundation also plans to show movies at the theater, but none have been scheduled. Ticket prices for movies have not been set, according to the Turnage Web site.