Pocket Community Theatre
To provide quality productions at reasonable prices for the citizens of Hot Springs and surrounding communities and to work toward our own theatre facility. We want to build for the future by involving young people today.
The Pocket Theatre was "born" in 1991 at the former Hot Springs Factory Outlet Mall. Mark Britton and Linda Kercado's newly formed production company, Marlin Productions, and the original owners and management of the Factory Outlet Stores teamed up to produce "Love Rides the Rails".
The mall donated $100, the use of a tent and folding chairs. Mark built the stage complete with foot lights, and formed a cast and crew from volunteer theater lovers. "We built it and they did come", says Mark. An old-fashioned melodrama complete with popcorn throwing, booing, hissing and cheering! So many people came that they were encouraged to bring their own chairs!
Its success led Mark and Linda to approach management with the idea of producing shows through the winter '"indoors" . An empty store and metal folding chairs were provided by the mall.
The little production company (almost small enough to put in your pocket) moved indoors, built a little stage and put on great plays. Audiences grew and filled the 100 uncomfortable folding chairs for every show.
In late 1996, The Pocket Theatre incorporated as a non-profit 501 (C) (3) Corporation. (All donations are tax deductible.)
Audiences increased and the store facility was outgrown. In late 1997 The Pocket Theatre moved into its next location on Higdon Ferry Road. There were 177 comfortable seats, a larger stage and even a sound and light booth!
The first show at the Higdon Ferry theatre was "Angel Street" in January of 1998. We had 47 productions at the Higdon Ferry Theatre including our first Children's Theatre Workshops and our first musical productions, and a couple of shows produced by other groups. Our last show at Higdon Ferry was "Second Time Around" in July of 2005.
A plan was put forth to work toward owning our own building. In this way we could ensure stability and could choose a site where we didn't have to deal with noise from neighboring businesses. After much effort and searching, a suitable location was chosen early in 2005 which we then aquired. After a great deal of work preparing the building for productions, we were able to open the new building with the final show of the 2005 season, October's "Harvey".
Our new building is located at the corner of Ravine and Ramble Streets off Park Avenue in downtown Hot Springs. The building is the former Ramble Elementary School auditorium which was closed as a school in the Spring of 1967 when Park Elementary opened. At least one of its former students has become fairly well known nation-wide, former President Bill Clinton. After closing the main school building was torn down and the auditorium has been used for a variety of purposes including a couple of churches before we aquired it.
The building is a two story structure with a large auditorium, lobby, restrooms in the lobby and backstage, rehearsal hall, kitchen, workshop, storage rooms, and a fenced-in, paved parking lot! It gives us room to grow and gives us more oppurtunity to a wider variety of shows.
Pocket Community Theatre is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media