SEGUIN — The Palace Theater is opening its stage to more musical performances.
Starting with Cory Morrow at Feb. 15.
“It is something I’ve always wanted to do,” said organizer Kevin Koenen who is working with theater owner Dan Daniels. “I went and met with Dan, talked to him and we decided to try it out.”
Koenen said he figures if neighboring communities could house musical venues, then Seguin could follow suit.
“Growing up in Seguin, the only time there was anybody who ever played like that was at the fair or Fourth of July and it always seemed like we had a good turnout doing it,” he said. “San Marcos has a venue now, New Braunfels has several, so I thought if people over there can do it, we can get people over here to do stuff like that and maybe turn it into something a lot bigger.”
Daniels and Koenen decided the Palace would be more suited for a sit down concert rather than a dance hall.
“We talked about dancing verse concert style performers. There are plenty of dance halls but a good concert can’t be beat. This will be sit down concert style,” Daniels said.
When choosing a artist to kick off the venture, Koenen went with somebody who would attract a mixed group of fans.
“When I decided what I wanted my audience to be — I wanted young and old together — I went with Cory Morrow,” he said. “It was an easy decision because he has been around so long but he is still a well known name. My daughter is 19 and she knows who Cory Morrow is and my parents are 60 and 70 years old and they know who Cory Morrow is.”
The plan is to eventually be a stage for numerous other talents.
“I am wanting to have Jason Bowen, Cody Canada and the Departed, Aaron Watson, Casey Donahew, a lot of the Americana, Texas bands,” he said.
Daniels agreed and is hoping to draw some bigger names in to the theater in time.
“I believe Kevin has gotten something going here. I think it will only get better,” he said. “I am going to try with Kevin to get performers like Jerry Jeff Walker on stage, Ray Price. I think we are going to just dip our toe in the water first and see if Seguin is responsive and then we are going to go from there.”
But the stage isn’t going to be just for the big name artists, Koenen said.
“I am also planning on doing a singer song writer night,” he said. “I want to get into doing benefits with local bands.”
Sharing the stage with Cory Morrow that night will be local group the Hillbilly Jug Band and Round Rock/Georgetown singer Marissa Martinez.
“We will have the Hillbilly Jug Band that is from Seguin,” Koenen said. “It is a group of one guitar and four singers. They do kind of the same Texas type of music. When they play, they will perform their songs, along with some artists that everybody knows like Brantly Gilbert, Johnny Cash, Guns and Roses. We will also have Marrisa Martinez who is a friend of mine’s daughter and she does an acoustic set. I wanted to give them some more exposure.”
Most of Koenen’s publicity has been on social networking sites, but it has helped him get the word out.
“The response on Facebook has been overwhelming,” he said. “It has actually surprised me because I mainly started on Facebook and haven’t even gone to the surrounding communities.”
Seating is limited and tickets are going quick, Koenen said.
“We have some reserved seating but they wont last long,” he said adding that those looking for reserved tickets can contact him at 830-832-2604.
Tickets are $30 for reserve seating in the front two rows and the rest are general admission for $20 and available at The Paisley Patch and Smithey’s Country Store.
Doors open at 6 p.m., music starts at 8 p.m.
Since the Palace Theater stopped showing first run movies in 2002, Daniels said he wanted to keep entertainment on the stage
“We decided to keep the Palace and do a variety of events — birthday parties, special films,” he said. “I had patterned the Palace after the Paramount Theater in Austin, with a variety of events. I haven’t been as successful. We have had a variety of shows.”