Milton, FL - Think about life 100 years ago.
Women were encouraged not to paint and certainly couldn't vote. Less than 14% of all households had a tub. Football was almost banned as a sport because of the amount of deaths each year. Few homes had radios and television wasn't invented yet.
Income tax didn't exist. Neither did Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. Hundreds of thousands of cars were sold every year, with few paved roads. The average price for a home was less than $3,000. A gallon of gas cost 27 cents.
And the Imogene Theatre in Milton was built.
The Imogene Theatre, originally named "Milton Auditorium," was completed in 1913 as the epicenter of social life in central Santa Rosa County. The building was used as an opera house, a place for fancy balls, plays, Vaudeville and picture shows. The name was changed in 1925 to its current moniker.
So, now it's the year 2013. We aren't zooming around in flying cars while living on Mars, but the theatre is 100-years old this month. And a celebration is in order. The building is not only still standing, but remains a fully-functional facility to house dances, movies, weddings and receptions, plays, music events, recitals, plus contains a full historical museum.
Panhandle Community Theatre (PCT) and the Santa Rosa Historical Society (SRHS), the owners of the Imogene, have partnered together to bring a huge celebration of the 100th Anniversary of this historic building. The show is entitled "Star-Spangled Salute to our Troops - An Old-Fashioned Touring Variety Show Honoring Our Military."
The production is a military tribute variety show (similar to the USO Shows of World War II) with singers, dancers, kid acts, magicians, comedy skits and celebrity impersonators.
"We wanted to tie-in an acknowledgment to our Armed Forces because of the area's huge influence," said David Cook, the show's director. "The entire show will be set in the 1940s. Almost every act has a focus on the military."
The show dates are September 27-29 and October 4-5. The final extravaganza is ultra-special because that is the official birthday of the theatre. Extra acts have been added to the playbill as well as several special guests.
Acts include the "Clickin' Cloggers," a group of women who hail from Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties, dance and song kid acts from "Time to Shine! Center for Performing Arts," celebrity impersonators of Shirley Temple, Marilyn Monroe, Lucille Ball and Abbott and Costello. A special appearance by magician Mike Waldo will be the headline in the final show, and for one show only, a dance routine from the "Dance Academy of Santa Rosa."
"We wanted as much music as one show could hold," stated Musical Director Robert Frommel. "We are excited about having Magic Mike and the Dance Academy, even if they are only scheduled for one show each. We are most lucky to have each. These are two special talents."
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to a veterans group after the conclusion of the show. For tickets call 221-7599 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Imogene Theatre is located at 6866 Caroline Street across from the courthouse.
This show is designed to be an invitation to everyone to attend a part, a party that is 100-years in the making.