PHILADELPHIA STORY: A rendering shows the Ellis Theater in Marty Stuart’s hometown, Philadelphia, Mississippi. (Courtesy photo)
Marty Stuart, Connie Smith to Reopen Ellis Theater
On Dec. 8, Marty Stuart and Connie Smith will preside over the grand reopening of the historic and recently renovated Ellis Theater in Stuart’s hometown of Philadelphia, Mississippi. Stuart has been working to reopen the venue for seven years. The 500-seat theater was built in 1926 and sits on the campus of the future Marty Stuart Congress of Country Music.
“I find with all the touring I’ve done, all the playing I’ve done, all these houses across the world that I take the very best of those places – with the Ryman Auditorium as my guiding light – and take that down to Philadelphia to create the vibe of the Ellis Theater,” Stuart said. “The best of the best, of the best, that comes through this town will be following me home.”
The opening of the Ellis follows several recent honors for the five-time Grammy Award-winning artist and Country Music Hall of Fame member. On Tuesday, Nov. 22, Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives will be inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame alongside Vince Gill and Don McLean, and on Saturday, Nov. 26, he will celebrate his 50th year in Nashville and 30th anniversary as a Grand Ole Opry member with a special performance at the Opry.
Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives – Kenny Vaughan, Harry Stinson and Chris Scruggs – will be joined by Jontavious Willis and Choctaw Dancers for the Ellis reopening, followed by shows with Ricky Skaggs (Dec. 9), Vince Gill (Dec. 10) and Gaither Vocal Band (Dec. 11). Upcoming shows include Old Crow Medicine Show, Hardy, North Mississippi Allstars and more.
The Marty Stuart Congress of Country Music celebrates the cultural heritage of country music through live musical performance and educational programming and will be home to Stuart’s unique collection of artifacts – about 20,000 items – including images, instruments and outfits from the greatest names in American roots music.