Legislation that would designate the Lyceum Theatre in west-central Missouri’s Arrow Rock as the official state theatre was heard this week by a Missouri House committee in Jefferson City.
State Rep. Dave Muntzel, R-Boonville, tells Missourinet that the theatre has a huge impact on the small town of 56 people.
“There’s two or three little restaurants, little shops and everything and they wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for the Lyceum Theatre,” Muntzel says.
The 416-seat theatre held its first performance in 1961 and attracted more than 40,000 patrons in 2017, according to testimony at the hearing.
The theatre has an orchestra, and the audience is part of the show.
“People come from all over, especially neighboring states and come here and make a day trip of this, you know and so, because of the restaurants and the little shops and then the entertainment,” says Muntzel.
Arrow Rock, which is north of I-70 and northwest of Boonville, is located in Saline County. The town is surrounded by corn fields.
The entire village has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.
Muntzel testified this week before the House Special Committee on Tourism. He says that the thousands of people who visit the town enjoy Broadway-caliber productions, and that artists from as far away as New York City are involved.
“We’re looking at the Missouri heritage and how long it’s been there and it’s right in the middle of the state, and it’s like I said in there (Capitol hearing room), it’s just got Missouri stamped all over the theatre,” Muntzel says.
The crowd at this week’s hearing was standing-room only, as supporters and theatre board members packed the room.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) notes that the Arrow Rock State Historic Site includes the J. Huston Tavern, which dates back to 1834. DNR’s website notes the tavern “provides a dining experience in the oldest continuously operating restaurant west of the Mississippi River.”
The Lyceum became the first Missouri theatre to receive an award from the Missouri Arts Council, in 1983.
It’s located at 114 High Street in Arrow Rock.
Click here to listen to Missourinet news director Brian Hauswirth’s full interview with State Rep. Dave Muntzel, R-Boonville, which was recorded on March 14, 2018 at the Statehouse in Jefferson City: