Plymouth’s historic REES Theatre reopens in grand fashion

Published: Oct. 1, 2022 at 9:46 PM EDT
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PLYMOUTH, Ind. (WNDU) - Plymouth’s historic REES Theatre is open after five years of renovations.

The theatre in the heart of downtown Plymouth has been closed since 2009 when the theatre shut off the lights for good. However, heightened community interest stemming from a Lincoln Middle School class project was the catalyst for the renovation.

A World Record Trumpet Challenge was held at River Park Square on Saturday as part of the grand-reopening celebrations.

While they did fall short of the record, that minor setback wasn’t enough to stop the music.

Plymouth native and accomplished trumpeter Denver Bierman and the Mile High Orchestra led 53 local trumpeters while performing some of his songs before heading to the Rees for the first concert in the newly renovated theatre.

Denver Bierman and the Mile High Orchestra were finalists on the TV show “The Next Great American Band.”

After wowing the crowd with Bierman’s “My Home Town,” a song dedicated to Plymouth, Bierman was presented with a key to the city.

The REES Theatre has renamed the stage in honor of one of Bierman’s earliest inspirations, longtime Plymouth choir teacher Bob Pickell.

“The grand reopening event, which is a concert with Denver Bierman and the Mile High Orchestra on the Bob Pickell Performing Arts Stage,” said Jim Hartung, Entertainment Chair for the REES Theatre. “Bob Pickell was a high school choir teacher and band teacher, and he was very influential. He recently passed away after retiring, and we couldn’t think of a better way to memorialize this event than to name the stage after him, and it’s the Bob Pickell Performing Arts Stage.”

There are many more events for the REES for the Stars reopening over the next week.

The community is welcome to tour the newly renovated Rees Theatre on Sunday, Oct. 2, from 12-3 p.m.

International acoustic guitarist Pierre Bensusan plays Sunday from 7-9 p.m.

On Tuesday, Oct. 4, from 7-9 p.m., The REES will hold its Whiskey, Wisdom, and Trivial Tidbits to share the theatre’s history and how the project came to fruition.

Three Improv troops will be at the REES Theatre on Thursday, October 6, from 7-9 p.m.

The REES will showcase its multiple uses on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 1-3 p.m. It’s children’s movie day, and the theatre will show Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory while supplying chocolate candy to the kids.