Tragic News-Two Beloved Branson Theaters Face Wrecking Ball
If you're a fan of all things Branson, Missouri like I am, you may have seen the sad news that came from the "Live Music Capital of the World" over the weekend.
In a story in the Branson Tri-Lakes News Friday, it was announced there would be a pre-demolition auction for the items inside the Jim Stafford and Caravelle Theaters on The Strip in Branson later this month.
A spokesman for Coon Ridge Auction Company said the live auction would begin at 10 a.m. Monday, October 25 at the theaters.
The auction listing says they will be,"selling everything from the front door to the back door and everything in between." Among the items listed are signage, generators, HVAC systems, sound equipment, everything you would need to open your own concession stand, desks and chairs, etc., etc.
A hotel, The Gateway Inn, will also be sold, for one price as salvage.
A copy of the auction listing can be found here.
Jim Stafford, best known for his hits "Spiders and Snakes," "My Girl Bill" and "Wildwood Weed" in the early 70s, opened his theater in 1990. He was part of the migration of nationally-known entertainers that came to Branson about that same time that included Andy Williams, Roy Clark, Yakov Smirnoff, Tony Orlando, Wayne Newton and others.
On a personal note, when Karla and I went to Branson for the first time, on our honeymoon in 1995, the first show we chose to take in was Jim Stafford.
A check of Stafford's website and Facebook page indicates he did perform at his theater in 2020. His last Facebook post, in August 2020, promised he would be back in 2021.
The Caravelle Theater also opened in the early 90s, hosting entertainers ranging from Anita Bryant to Moe Bandy. It most recently was the home of The Liverpool Legends, a Beatles tribute band. They had been scheduled to open their 2021 season in June, but the theater suffered heavy damage caused by vandals in May.
No official word on when the theaters will be demolished or what will replace them along Branson's 76 Country Boulevard.