Jim Sánchez/ Conexión San Ángelo 

SAN ANGELO – For 88 years the San Angelo City Auditorium has lived up to that show business phrase, “The show must go on,” meaning no matter what happens, the show, planned,  still has to be staged for its audience.

In 2009, this historic, cultural treasure, which opened in February of 1929 and hosted along the way, famous people such as a young Elvis Presley, humorist Will Rogers, President Bill Clinton, etc. was closed down for renovations.

At yesterday’s 4 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house, San Angelo Area Foundation Chairman, Matt Lewis, introduced Elta Joyce Murphey, for whom the remodeled Auditorium was renamed the Elta Joyce Murphey Performance Hall.

Prior to the ceremony of cutting the ribbon, Lewis asked Eltha Joyce to say a few words, to which she succinctly stated, “I’m so excited, I have tears in my eyes.” “I can’t believe how gorgeous it is,” said Murphey.

In an interview with Conexión, Murphey stated that her love of arts and to give back to the community was attributed to her parents. One fond memory Eltha shared was when she walked across the City Auditorium stage in 1952 to receive her high school diploma.

Among the many attendees who eagerly anticipated the doors being opened to a remodeled and renamed crowned jewel, Murphy Performance Hall, was former Mayor, Dwain Morrison, past board chairs, Susan Brooks and Fred Key, Andrew Graves current board president and Mayor Brenda Gunter.

“I am so proud to welcome this (City Auditorium) back into the cultural circle of San Angelo,” “Most cities don’t have something from 1929 in their city hall and most cities don’t have this kind of treasure to celebrate a re-opening of this beauty,” Gunter said.

The Murphey Performance Hall improvements include restoration of the historic facility, new seating, a 17,000 square foot back-of-the-house addition, expansion of restroom facilities, state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, and restoration of the original 1929 curtain.

The Lake View High School Mariachi Band performed at Tuesday, October 3 ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house for the newly renamed Murphey Performance Hall.

Morgan Hulsey and other members from Ballet San Angelo showed up to get a close up look at the remodeled City Auditorium renamed after Eltha Joyce Murphey.
 
Another group in attendance was Ballet San Angelo which is led by Sandra Miller, the Artistic Director. One of the members, Morgan Hulsey stated that Ballet San Angelo will perform The Nutcracker on December 15 through December 17. 

Sara Harvey was totally excited about performing the two-act ballet. The last time Harvey was in the City Auditorium was in 2009 when she was eight-years-old and in the third grade. 

A third member of the group who is now 13 years-old remembers that she first saw the Nutcracker when she was four years-old, said “I’m actually excited to be in it this time.” 

The first scheduled performance to take place in the Murphey Performance Hall is this Saturday, October 7 as the San Angelo Symphony has the Doris Rousselot Memorial Concert at 7 p.m.

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