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Scottish Rite Theatre

Historical Venue Comes to Life in Harrisburg

By: Rachel Rocks

   Maybe I’m just way out of the loop, but back in April when I heard that the Jellybricks were playing at the Scottish Rite Theatre I had no idea where or even what it was. Luckily and thanks to the Scottish Rite Theatre for reaching out to us, The PA Musician Magazine, to place an ad, all of my questions have been answered and more!

   The Scottish Rite Theatre is located directly beside the Zembo Shrine on 3rd St. in Harrisburg. On the outside of the building it technically says it is the Scottish Rite Cathedral, but hiding inside that gigantic building is a 1,200 seat theatre! When you compare that the Whitaker Center has 600 seats, it really puts into perspective how huge this theatre really is. The super cool and exciting news is that this gorgeous theatre that was built back in 1954 is now opening to the public with special and unique shows. All of the arts are welcome from music, theatre, dance, magicians, and so much more!

   When I first walked into the Scottish Rite building I was instantly amazed just by their lobby area. When you walk in it really helps you feel like you are stepping back in time. It is amazing how well this building has been maintained through the years. I heard that the gorgeous floors get buffed once a week whether they need it or not. The lobby area is plenty big enough with a box office, coat room, and for different shows or weddings they have plenty of room to set up hors d’oeuvres, or even a bar area. I really had no idea what to expect when I went to the Scottish Rite Theatre, but I definitely didn’t expect to see such a massive theatre. All of the seats have been freshly reupholstered, and again I was amazed just with it’s beauty. It’s a live room, so the acoustics in the building are definitely ready for a good show. They know their built in sound and lights need updated, but until they can afford to put in the quality equipment that they would like, they can easily bring in hired sound and lights, or it also allows bigger shows to have the opportunity to bring in their own equipment too.  

   Speaking of bigger shows, they already have a couple shows on their schedule, the first one is Beatlemania Now coming on Friday, June 15th at 8pm. This show will definitely help take you back in time. They feature all of the Beatles hits, one right after the other, and will definitely getting you singing Beatles songs, “Eight Days a Week.” Tickets will be available at the door but can also be purchased in advance online. You can like their Facebook page “Harrisburg Scottish Rite Events” and click on the Eventbrite link for tickets. It’s hard to believe for only $35 you can sit in the front 10 rows and get a Meet and Greet after the show with “The Beatles”. Don’t miss this amazing show!!

   To show how versatile they are, the next show they have booked on Friday, August 17th at 8pm is The Gong Show Off Broadway. This is a theatrical adaptation of the “greatest TV show in human history.” It is part musical, part comedy, part parody. Featuring a permanent cast of mind-blowing talent, curated from around the globe. While these talented eccentrics battle it out for the coveted prize of $516.32, they are dedicated to the point of obsession to astonishing and delighting every member of the studio audience. You are that studio audience. Pull up a chair, then fall of it laughing! $55 VIP tickets include seating in the first 6 rows and a Meet & Greet after the show. Get your picture taken with the performers and the Gong! General admission tickets are only $45!

   As you can see there are plenty of weekends still available for you to book your show. If you feel like you can’t possibly sell 1,200 tickets and fill the theatre, they also have another option; a gorgeous ballroom that can seat over 500 guests for your special wedding day or corporate event, but they can also take out some of the tables and turn the ballroom into another awesome space to have bands. They have a nice big raised stage already set up, with a huge gorgeous wood floor there is plenty of space for dancing! It’s a great option that also opens the door for smaller acts to have another new venue to play in Harrisburg. Make sure and check out their ad in this issue for even more details about this amazing venue and the shows that will be coming up soon.

   The Scottish Rite Theatre is looking forward to opening their doors to the public and bringing in some amazing entertainment to Harrisburg. If you would like to get your band or special event booked at their venue, you can call the office at 717-238-8868 and Lee Boltz would love to help you plan your event and help make 2018 be a revival year for the Scottish Rite Theatre.

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