Unforgettable entertainment abounds at Macon’s many arts venues

Mary Lathem, Arts & Entertainment Editor

You may have chosen to attend Mercer for a wide variety of reasons, but did you know that Macon is a thriving hub for entertainment and the arts? With links to Otis Redding, Little Richard and the Allman Brothers Band, Macon’s artistic heritage has become a source of community pride. Fortunately, Macon’s many outstanding entertainment venues are dedicated to preserving the community’s tradition of artistic excellence. Next time you find yourself wondering what to do on a Friday night, check out one of these venues for a memorable experience right here in Macon, Georgia.

Cox Capitol Theater

Beloved by Mercer students and the Macon community alike, the iconic Cox Capitol Theatre first opened its doors in 1916. Since it underwent a major restoration project in 2006, the venue regularly hosts both big-name acts and up-and-coming artists. Looking for a major throwback? You’re in luck: middle school heartthrob Aaron Carter will play at the Cox on Sept. 15.

For a complete event schedule and more information, visit the Cox’s website at www.coxcapitoltheatre.com

The Grand Opera House

Whether you’re looking for a high-budget Broadway tour or a night of orchestral music featuring Mercer’s own Robert McDuffie Center for Strings, the Grand Opera House’s schedule contains events for all tastes and budgets. The Grand’s gold accents, plush red carpeting and traditional balcony and box seating make it one of Macon’s most beautiful venues. Additionally, the Grand is one of the most affordable options for entertainment-seeking Bears: tickets for Macon Symphony Orchestra concerts and other select events are free for students with a Mercer ID.

The Grand recently announced that it will offer movie screenings as part of its upcoming season, which the venue was known for during the 1930s and 40s. This year’s film selection will include a wide range of American classics such as “Roman Holiday,” “Gone with the Wind” and “The Birds.” General admission is $5.

To learn more about the Grand Opera House, visit www.thegrandmacon.com.

Theatre Macon

For a more intimate local musical theatre experience, audiences flock to Theatre Macon, one of Macon’s most respected community theatres. Conveniently located in downtown Macon, Theatre Macon’s upcoming season includes such beloved Broadway classics as “The Wiz” and “The Drowsy Chaperone.” Due to its close ties with Mercer’s Theatre and Music departments, current and former Mercerians are often featured in Theatre Macon’s productions. Whether Mercer students are involved or not, attending a show at Theatre Macon is always an opportunity to witness the incredible talent of the Macon community.

For more information and a complete calendar of productions, visit www.theatremacon.com.

The Hummingbird Stage and Taproom

If you’d rather rock out to a local band than attend a theatrical production, The Hummingbird is an excellent choice for a night on the town. A favorite of Mercer students, The Bird is a laid back venue that often hosts bands made up of Mercerians. If you need a break from The Bird’s bustling bar area, the venue’s outdoor patio provides a perfect opportunity to get some fresh air between sets. Make sure to follow The Hummingbird on social media to take advantage of special deals for Mercer students and keep track of upcoming gigs.

To find out more, visit The Hummingbird online at www.thebirdstage.com.

The Douglass Theatre

Previously a haunt for jazz and blues superstars such as Bessie Smith and James Brown, the historic Douglass Theatre is now known for its regular educational programming and film screenings. The Douglass Theatre is also highly regarded for its Black History Month Film Series, an integral part of Macon’s historical preservation efforts. Visitors to the Douglass Theatre may be treated to anything from an afternoon of smooth jazz to a hard-hitting political documentary, but all are sure to walk away with a greater understanding of Macon’s rich heritage.

To learn more about the history of the Douglass Theatre and its current programming, visit www.douglasstheatre.org.

The Macon Centreplex

For high-flying circus acts, concert tours and entertainment on ice, there’s no better venue in Macon than the Macon Centreplex. Home to three enormous event spaces which include the Macon City Auditorium, the Macon Coliseum and the Edgar H. Wilson Convention Center, the Centreplex has hosted acts such as The Jackson 5, Elvis and Elton John. In addition to its regular concert schedule, the Centreplex hosts many local and national conventions such as the Middle Georgia Comic Convention and offers an ice skating rink in the winter months.

For more information on the Macon Centreplex and complete event listings, visit www.maconcentreplex.org.

If you’re looking for quality entertainment, there’s no need to leave Macon — simply visit one of the above venues and enjoy!  After you’ve visited them all, you can find a more comprehensive list of Macon’s arts offerings at www.ovations365.com.