By Howard Pousner
The Earl Smith Strand Theatre on the Marietta Square will launch its first concert series this August, featuring seven shows of homegrown Georgia talent.
When the restored 1935 movie theater reopened in 2008, it was strictly a rental house, and concert bookings were infrequent. Because of the tough economy, the 531-seat theater started producing its own scattered concerts, including an April show by the Jimmy Buffett tribute band A1A that sold out and turned away more than 300.
“Every time we’ve had concerts, they’ve either sold out or we’ve had high attendance,” said Christy Rosell, director of business development and marketing. “And people would say, ‘Please do this more.’”
The annual concert series announced this week complements showings of movies and a variety of performances, including a season of musicals by the Atlanta Lyric Theatre, which opens “Hairspray” on July 23.
The concert lineup:
Aug. 20: Soulphonics and Ruby Velle. Outfit that brings ‘60s-’70s soul to life with a three-piece horn section and a sassy lead singer.
Aug. 28: Banks & Shane. Popular duo since 1972 , joined by Jim Durand, does a Kingston Trio tribute.
Sept. 10: Blair Crimmins and the Hookers. New Orleans funk by way of Cabbagetown.
Oct. 9: Paradocs. A group of Wellstar Health System medical personnel and staff by day, rockers by night.
Oct. 22: The Return. Beatles tribute band.
Nov. 5-6: A1A. A Jimmy Buffett tribute show sanctioned by the “Margaritaville” man himself.
Dec. 31: Billy Joe Royal. The Marietta-born pop hitmaker (“Down in the Boondocks,” “Cherry Hill Park”) returns.
Tickets, ranging from $12 to $35, on sale now for all shows , except Royal’s (available Sept. 1).
Information: 770-293-0080, www.earlsmithstrand.org.