The Mill Town Music Hall, located on Alabama Avenue next to Subway in the old Ingles shopping center, has been several years in the making, according to property owner and CEO of Redding Construction Company Randall Redding.
Redding, whose company is handling the renovation of the venue, has owned the building for several years and, since Ingles relocated, he has been searching for another business to move in to the space.
“People have been approaching me for a few years about making this a music theater. I had been looking at making it a movie theater and then a bowling alley [...] and we just couldn’t get any traction on it,” Redding said. “We had talked to other industries as well who might need a large space like this. [...] Then I was approached again by people in the [music] industry, and I really began to think about it and pray about it.”
It was at that point Redding decided to pursue turning the space into a family friendly music hall.
“People have been telling me there’s a need for a venue like this in the area,” Redding said. “And it has a great location: right here at Interstate 20 and Highway 27.”
Bremen Downtown Development Authority member and representative with Cohn, Overstreet and Parrish Integrated Marketing Amy Parrish said, “This is what we needed to boost the economy as a premier driver of business. After the manufacturing business declined, there hasn’t been that ‘umph.’ This will be a big draw.”
Redding says he expects to showcase gospel, bluegrass and country music groups about twice a month.
“Of course, I see it being used for dance recitals, wedding receptions, children’s programs, business conventions and youth rallies,” Redding said. “We’ll definitely have other church-related programs here that churches may not have space for in their sanctuary, especially things like the youth rallies and contemporary Christian concerts.”
For opening weekend, Jim Pearson of The Diplomats has helped Redding and other organizers line up some well-known talent.
The Talleys, The Kingsmen and Brian Free and the Assurance are expected on opening night, Feb. 2. The Issacs, The Dixie Echoes and The Diplomats are scheduled for Friday, Feb. 3. Pearson also plans to showcase a few Hall of Fame inductees on Friday night.
“It’s really going to be a great show,” Pearson said.
When the building’s renovation is complete, it will feature a box office and snack bar - minus the alcoholic beverages, a state-of-the-art sound and light system, removable interlocking seats, and an industrial decor.
“It’s definitely going to have an industrial feel to it with the polished concrete and the old light fixtures that came from a dairy in New Hampshire, but it will be comfortable,” Redding said.
Redding anticipates allowing local youth groups to operate the snack bar so they can raise money for their youth programs. He also anticipates local business growth and retention due to the resulting tourism the music hall is expected to promote.
“Motels, restaurants, everything is this area is going to flourish,” said Pearson.
A web site is expected to be operational by Jan. 1, which will contain information on shows and how to purchase tickets.