The Paxton Theatre in Bainbridge will take on a distinct Hillsboro flavor this Friday when it hosts a new musical celebration titled Home for the Holidays.
“It’s sort of like a Christmas country show with a little bit of everything; and it’s all family entertainment,” said Wade Hamilton, the director of Samaritan Outreach Services in Hillsboro who is also currently serving as publicity director for the theatre.
Home for the Holidays will feature the Hillsboro Elementary School third grade program “How the Penguins Saved Christmas,” “The Story of Santa Claus” written many years ago by late Hillsboro resident and Southern State Community College theatre professor Ed Daniels, The Paint Valley Brass, members of the Hillsboro Symphonic Choir, local vocalists, and Santa Claus.
But Hamilton said the highlight of the show is “The Story of Santa Claus.”
“My third grade teacher (Hillsboro resident Sherry Barber) read it to me 30 years ago. It’s a great story about the real meaning of Christmas and the holidays, and it stuck with me all these years,” said Hamilton, a graduate of Fairfield High School in Leesburg.
The show takes place at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Children age 8 and under, as well as seniors age 60 or older, will be admitted free. Advance tickets can be purchased at PaxtonTheatre.com. For more information call 740-634-3333.
“It will be a fun night of family entertainment with lots of fun and lots of laughs,” Hamilton said.
Donations for the Highland County Toys For Tots program will be collected Friday at the theatre.
Proceeds from the show will benefit the Paxton Theatre Foundation. Hamilton said the foundation’s “goal is just to sustain that great, great theatre in Bainbridge for years and years to come.”
Located at the corner of Main and Maple streets in Bainbridge, the Paxton Theatre opened in 1909 after the farmers of Paxton Township petitioned the Paxton Township Trustees a couple years earlier to erect a township hall on the lot, with the cost not to exceed $15,000.
Prior to the theatre being located on the lot, three Methodist churches burned there and the church decided to move to a different location.
The first show at the Paxton 106 years ago was Vogel’s Minstrels. Movies, minstrels, magic shows and Vaudeville acts played there through the years, then in 1914 the Paxton stated being rented out to show movies, except for the front four rooms, although the trustees reserved the right to use it for Memorial Day, high school commencements and Christmas programs. Bainbridge High School commencements were held there until 1936.
The front four rooms were rented to various businesses and the village library was housed there for a while.
The showing of movies ended in the 1950s.
In 1968, James Krug purchased the building from the township trustees and rented it out for various entertainment. Krug sold it to Ralph Cooper in 1992. The Paxton Theatre has been the home of the Paint Valley Jamboree, Ohio’s oldest continuous country show, for more than 51 years.
In 2014, Tim and Deb Koehl purchased The Paxton Theatre with plans to add other programming and keep the site alive for many years to come.
Note – The historical information for this story was provided by the theatre’s website.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.