Hometown Pride Tour: Graham Memorial Auditorium and Graham Regional Theater

GRAHAM, TX (KAUZ) - Close to the town square in Graham sits the Graham Memorial Auditorium.

It opened its doors in 1929.

88 years later, it hosts everything from dance recitals to plays.

Van Cliburn got his start there, playing his first big gig in Graham.

"Just the fact that a town our size that has a space like that brings in great shows from out of town, that produces shows here in town, it's hard to beat that," said Christian Sanders who manages the Graham Regional Theater.

Sanders visited Graham about 15 years ago when a family friend asked him to be in a production.

He said when he walked in the Theater for the first time, he knew there was something special.

"I've never had someone go in there with me for the first time and not stop and look around and not comment on how amazing that space is," said Sanders.

That is because the theater strives to keep the traditional look of the theater, with the original seating still in the balcony.

"It holds a special place for a lot of people in Graham," said Sanders. "Beyond that when you walk in you get the feeling whether you know what an old theater was like or not you that this is exactly what it should have been."

Sanders moved his family to Graham where he's performed and directed in many productions at Graham Memorial Auditorium.

About 2 years ago, he wanted to create a space for smaller productions.

That is where the idea for the Graham Regional Theater was born.

The building that used to be an old T.V. shop.

When picking a spot for the theater, Sanders had a location in mind.

No place other than the square.

"Anyone who has been to the square in Graham knows how great it is with some of the independently owned shops and the great restaurants and the movie theater and things like that we felt like this is where we wanted to be," said Sanders.

Sanders said it's places like Memorial Auditorium and Graham Regional Theater that keep Graham the town it is.

"It's amazing and that's the reason why we want to live here you know and raise our kids here and bring our friends out here and say 'no you've got to come to Graham but be warned if you come here you may want to live here,'" said Sanders.

For information on how you can get involved with the Graham Regional Theater, click here.

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