ALAMOSA — On Sunday, September 7, 2014 a tiny little seed was planted. This seed has now matured like a fine oak tree and become Society Hall, the premiere entertainment venue of the Valley.
It all began when Ruthie Brown, local business owner, saw Charlotte Orth coming down the steps on this Sunday afternoon. Charlotte was a member of the Christian Science Society. The Society built this building at 400 Ross Avenue in Alamosa in the year of 1922. Although a small group of Society members continued to worship every Sunday, they had put the building up for sale, due to ongoing maintenance costs. It was obvious from the very first that this building needed to be saved…and so the work began.
After many visits to the real estate office asking for the keys to show someone the hall, Gary Morgan finally gave Ruthie a set. One of the very first folks to see the building was Pete Magee, who is now active on the board. He was also one of the very first large contributors.
It took Don Richmond and Teri McCartney about six weeks to come see the building. Don is now on the board and he told the board later, that on their trip to town it was kind of like “you tell Ruthie we can’t help with another project.” No…”you tell her.” And then they saw the building, and they knew.
They knew what everyone else has felt and seen from the first time they entered the doors. It’s as if this building was built for a concert hall! The gently sloping floors, the stage, the beautiful windows, the warmth of the wood pillars, the welcoming of the open front porch AND the wonderful acoustics which was what Don Richmond realized as he sang the first scale on the stage. It’s just amazing! It’s amazing to think this building could have been purchased and torn down for a parking lot.
The building was purchased on August 3, 2015 and it has been non-stop adventure ever since. The very first fundraiser was held on September 17th with porta-johns outside (decorated with a chandelier), and the hopes that the old electrical wiring would hold up to a Chris Collins/John Denver show. The wiring held up for that first concert and the hall has now been totally rewired, re-plumbed and ADA ramps have been installed on the front and back. Concession areas have been built and the stage was extended to allow for larger musical groups. It really is a fantastic building.
From the beginning in 2015, Society Hall has hosted over 60 events — music, comedy, public meetings, memorials and fundraisers for other organizations.
In order to protect what the community has invested in, the SH Board has decided a new roof was needed. The group has repaired it a couple of times, but the leaks in the middle of the winter proved the board would have to ‘bite the bullet’ and protect the entire structure. The work has started…and now needs to be paid for.
What better way to raise money than have a celebration? Celebrating what the hall has become and protecting it for the future! On September 16, one day short of two years, the hall will be home to a six band Festival, including Waverly Road, Charlie, Ronda and Robear, Indian Nickel, Fred Hargrove with Don Richmond, Tumbleweed, and The Mitguards.
Here’s the line-up:
Beginning outside at 12:30 p.m. - Waverly Road
Inside at 2 p.m. - Charlie, Rhonda and Robear
Outside at 3:30 p.m. - Indian Nickel
Inside at 5 p.m. – Fred Hargrove with Don Richmond
Outside at 6:30 p.m. – Tumbleweed
Inside at 8 p.m. – The Mitguards
The entertainment will begin at noon and last until ….the last person goes home (midnight or earlier). The music will alternate between the inside stage and the Don Richmond stage outside. Fourth St. by the hall and the adjoining SLV Federal Bank parking lot will be entirely fenced. Entrance will be on the north side in the middle. Entry is free, but donations will graciously be accepted and appreciated. Beer and wine will be sold, so ID’s are a MUST! Food will be for sale and coffee, pop and water. No outside refreshments allowed in. No pets.
So please accept this as a personal invitation from the Board of Society Hall: Ruthie Brown, Don Richmond, Pete Magee and Lisa Absmeier-Herman, to come and support Society Hall. Those who cannot attend, please feel free to contact www.societyhall.org where there is a “contact” button. Society Hall is an Enterprise Zone participant for donors who wish to earn additional tax credits through their donations.
It is highly recommended to bring a lawn chair and be ready to just camp out. Three class reunions will also be taking place from ’72, ’73, and ’74 so lots of old friends are coming to town. Please join in celebrating Society Hall! Celebrate what has happened with community, support. Thank you!