The Grand 1894 Opera House Re-Opens January 3rd
Hurricane Ike roared ashore on September 13th and upstaged Steve Tyrell as the opening act for The Grand 1894 Opera House’s 2008-2009 “Signature Season.” Billed as Galveston Island’s “most destructive” hurricane since The Great 1900 Storm, “Ike” forced a postponement of The Grand’s season until January 3, 2009.
The 2008-2009 “Signature Season” – it’s Recovery and Reopening – is now set to kick off with a “grand” 114th birthday open house Saturday, January 3rd, from 10am-2pm. Well known Houston performer Rob Landes will entertain at the piano, former CBS television anchor Steve Smith is set to emcee the festivities, and local Galveston icon Vandy Anderson will read the best of “Hurricane Ike Storm Stories” that were submitted to Rosenberg Library and other organizations following the storm. Complimentary cake and punch will be served and great door prizes will be awarded throughout the birthday open house celebration. In addition, “Ike: Stories of the Storm - a table-top hardcover book published by the Galveston County Daily News will be available for sale throughout the entire weekend, with a portion of each sale to benefit The Grand. The “grand” re-opening weekend will continue Saturday evening with Jerry Jeff Walker at 8pm, followed by a Sunday afternoon performance by the “Gospel Stars” at 3pm. Tickets for both performances are still available.
For almost three decades, Maureen Patton, Executive Director for The Grand, has told the theatre’s “story” to countless visitors and media groups. A central theme of Patton’s presentation has always been “The Grand is a survivor” – having rebounded from the nation’s worst natural disaster - The Great 1900 Storm, as well as other hurricanes. Considered the most damaging hurricane in 108 years, “Ike” left parts of the Island under 10-12 feet of water. All in all, over 75% of Galveston Island was severely flooded and damaged. Along with most of Galveston’s historic downtown, The Grand suffered major water damage.
Yet Galveston, her citizens, and certainly its crown jewel – The Grand 1894 Opera House, are indeed survivors. The Island continues to recover and progress can be seen every day –thus enabling the theatre to set this special “GRAND” re-opening on its 114th Birthday.