Evincing a history that dates back to 1881 and includes stints as a city jail and a silent-film palace, the 426-seat Newberry Opera House is a spectacle in itself. A recent multimillion-dollar renovation project modernized the institution's eclectic Victorian craftwork by adding state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems and removing the horse-drawn curtain-raising system.
The 2011 Blues, Brews, and BBQ Festival nourishes audience members with a red-hot menu of living legends. Unstoppable at the age of 85, B.B. King extracts heart-bending notes from his famous six-string, Lucille, with the buttery ease and soulful virtuosity of a master sculptor whittling a balsa-wood action figure. Sharing the stellar show bill of musical immortals, fellow blues master Buddy Guy defies the laws of dexterity with his legendary and highly influential ax skills. Mac Arnold & Plate Full O' Blues, Chris Watson Band, and other tunesmiths add their own aural ingredients to the melodious mix to help slather eardrums in raucous, 12-bar sauce. Lawn seaters are welcome to bring along lawn chairs and blankets to avoid having to sit on the grass like a common golf ball.
Nominated for 10 Tony Awards in 2007, Grey Gardens tells the simultaneously lively and heartbreaking story of Big and Little Edie Bouvier. Set in two acts, the play follows the eccentric and often-dysfunctional duo's descent from the lap of luxury as New York socialites to an isolated existence in a squalid home overrun by feral bands of aristocats. One of few Broadway productions based on a documentary, the musical is inspired by the true story of Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis's aunt and cousin and includes personal songs that explore their complicated mother-daughter relationship. Performances take place downtown in the historic Fountain Inn Civic Center, an intimate 485-seat theater that features chamber concerts, theatrical productions, and partially masked phantoms ready to tear tickets and whisk patrons to their seats.
At Golden Park, bowling balls tumble down 32 slick lanes while optional bumpers steer them away from the gutter and automatic scoring tracks every strike and spare. Black lights and a disco atmosphere wash over the lanes during glo bowling, held Friday and Saturday nights until 1 a.m. The skating arena lets visitors relive the carefree days of the '70s, when kids gathered at the rink after school and congressional elections were decided by bouts of roller derby.
A snack bar and tiki lounge restore energy lost during heated games, and flat-screen TVs keep competitive juices flowing with sports broadcasts. Nearby, the game room shelters arcade machines, a foosball table, and four billiards tables that often host APA Pool League matches. Golden Park also boasts the Bowling Connection Pro Shop, which outfits players with new balls, shoes, and bags for forthcoming frames.
Instructors?including a former member of the Romanian national gymnastic team?teach students proper gymnastic techniques in 11,000 square feet of space. Classes for younger kids help improve their gross motor skills, while older students in high school learn more difficult moves. The staff also teaches a class for kids with special needs, and offers cheerleading and tumbling lesson as well.