Historical Theater is now gone...but not forgotten...and the future is hopeful!
Donk's Theater, home of Virginia's Li'l Ole Opry opened its doors in 1975 to provide family friendly entertainment at affordable prices. Last year, we celebrated 40 years in the entertainment business! We were able to reconnect with friends, fellow musicians, and audience members that we hadn't seen in years and it was magical.
On Friday, January 22, 2016, at 11:00 p.m., our beloved home collapsed under the pressure of heavy snow, ice and rain. Two walls fell outward and the roof landed flat on the seats. By God's grace and timing, no one was in it.
Alongside some great (and thoughtful) contractors and our landlord, Miss Josie, we have been able to save the photos in the lobby, the popcorn machine, the candy case (and all the candy, which was the only thing our children asked about), and some of the marquee letters. Many things have been recovered and the painstaking job of going through all of it to see what can be salvaged has begun.
We have been overwhelmed with messages, texts, emails, facebook posts, calls, etc. from those of you who share in our shock and grief. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your gentle kindness.
Richard Smith wrote this just after we got the news:
"I, as well as my family, am in a state of shock, and am devastated over the loss of Donks Theater last night. I have been in every nook and cranny of that old building during the 40 years that we enjoyed with her. First, I thank Almighty God for taking her while she was empty and sustaining no injuries to anyone. I thank Him for the privilege of performing there from the age of 8 years old. I thank Him for every person that walked on that stage and every person that helped behind the scenes in every way. And last but certainly not least, to every person that supported the shows with your presence, your appreciation and your love, we felt it and I hope we reciprocated all of those feelings right back to you. Rest in peace old girl. I will cherish every memory."
We all share his sentiments. God continues to bless us and He is GOOD!!
My partners and I (Betsy Ripley, Joanna Nix, Jimmy Smith, Lynda Smith) are so grateful to have received so many offers of folks wanting to help that we were encouraged to start this page. Give as you see fit…or not at all. The kindness you have already offered us in phone calls, messages, texts and emails has been so uplifting and appreciated.
For those who would prefer not to donate online, please send checks to Wickham Enterprises, P. O. Box 284, Mathews, VA 23109. With your help, the show will go on.
Please join our email list by entering your data at the bottom of this page. We send out emails before and after each show...and do not SPAM you. Nor will we EVER provide your email information to any other source.
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