Proceeds from the annual barbecue and music event will help fund the restoration of the Historic Gem Theatre in downtown Calhoun, organizers said.
“This is an event for the entire family and will include barbecue with homemade sides and desserts, five bands and a large children’s area,” said Sarah Husser, the Friends of the Gem’s marketing director. “Children will enjoy the inflatables, feeding the fish and decorat-ing their very own Ham Jam T-shirt to take home.”
The musical lineup includes Dwayne Smith, Stephanie Gibson & Light Lead, David Bell, Claude Jones & Joe Evans, and The Hangars.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under. Tickets are on sale at Firness First of Calhoun.
The Gem, which opened on North Wall Street in 1927, was Calhoun’s first theater. The building it occupies was originally a furniture store, but when it went out of business, half of the building became a theater and the other half a hardware store. When the hardware store went out of business, the Gem’s owners bought that half of the building and upgraded it.
In the 1940s, the Martin family bought the Gem and changed the name to the Martin Thea-tre, operating the venue on North Wall Street until the Martin Triple opened on Bryant Parkway.
The late Raymond King, bought the building in 2003 and donated it to the Friends of the Gem, and the group has been working since then to restore the historic downtown theater as a performing arts venue.
Interior renovations will include a new stage for live performances and a theater screen for movies. A state-of-the-art light and sound system will also be installed. The old projec-tion room will be recreated but will have modern equipment inside.
The interior renovation, the third phase of the restoration project, is expected to cost $1.2 million to complete. The total restoration project has a price tag of $2.5 million
The first phase of the renovation put a new roof on the building. The second phase of the renovation, which includes most of the exterior work, was completed last year.
The Gem’s marquee, which was completed last year, now graces the theater’s façade and lights up downtown Calhoun at night.
Last year the downtown building became eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
For more information about Friends of the Gem, visit CalhounGem.org.