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New entertainment venue to replace Greer Opry House

The Spinning Ginny becomes new name

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Saturday, May 9, 2015

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Elvis, among hundreds of memorabilia being sold at the Greer Opry House, will be leaving the building for the final time by the end of May.

Jim Fair

Elvis, among hundreds of memorabilia being sold at the Greer Opry House, will be leaving the building for the final time by the end of May.



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Steve Sandlin is investing in a total upfit inside and out at the Greer Opry House and will rename the new entertainment center. Sharon Murry has been named the venue's general manager.
 

Jim Fair

Steve Sandlin is investing in a total upfit inside and out at the Greer Opry House and will rename the new entertainment center. Sharon Murry has been named the venue's general manager.

 



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Robert Stewart said all the memorabilia is being sold first-come, first-served.

Jim Fair

Robert Stewart said all the memorabilia is being sold first-come, first-served. "Stop by and make us an offer," Robert said.

 



Enlarge photo

Ernest Harvey, and his wife Peggy, were the first managers at the Greer Opry House. Harvey and his band regularly played there and reportedly, it was Harvey who signed an underage Aaron Tippin into clubs for his first shows.
 

Jim Fair

Ernest Harvey, and his wife Peggy, were the first managers at the Greer Opry House. Harvey and his band regularly played there and reportedly, it was Harvey who signed an underage Aaron Tippin into clubs for his first shows.

 



The Greer Opry House will undergo a complete interior and exterior upfit and will serve as a multi-purpose entertainment venue under new management.

Steve Sandlin, owner of the venue at 107 Cannon Street, told GreerToday.com, he has hired Sharon Murry as general manager who will book a variety of entertainment for a more diverse age group.

The Spinning Ginny, the new name for the venue, traces back to the early textile era when multiple spools of cotton speeded up the manufacturing process.

Robert and Peggy Stewart are in their final weeks managing the venue. Saturday’s performance of the Classic Country Band with Ed Burrell was the group’s final appearance at the Opry House under the Stewarts.

Ernest Harvey, first husband of Peggy, opened the Greer Opry House. Harvey reportedly signed an underage Aaron Tippin into clubs for his first shows. Harvey died of cancer and years later Peggy married Robert Stewart, with both extended families, committed to keep the Opry House running.

The memorabilia of musical history dating back to the 1950s, accumulated by Peggy Stewart for decades, and displayed floor to ceiling on virtually every inch of the walls is being sold at the Opry House daily. “Everything must go,” Robert Stewart said. “If somebody wants something they can come see us and make an offer. We have nowhere to put all this stuff.”

“We’re going to gut the entire inside, painting and updating everything. The outside will be painted and we will have a rock-like appearance out front for the columns in the center,” Sandlin said. The inside will have the exposed brick look.

“The first thing we are going to do is pave the parking lot, put up signage and make it look a lot nicer,” Sandlin said.

A considerable expense of the upfit includes adding a fire suppression system since the venue is expecting to host more than 299 people on occasion.

David Langley of Langley & Associates of Greer is designing the upfit.

Murry is a professor at USC Upstate in public speaking and communication. She has been involved in fine arts throughout her academic career and worked in theater and at the Handlebar in Greenville before it was closed.

“I want to take the fine arts and make them available to the entire community,” Murry said. “When fine arts become accessible to the community it makes people’s lives better. We want to bring younger people to Greer. You must have a variety.”

Already booked this summer is a performance with the Greenville Shakespeare Company, “Love’s Labor Lost”. “The company is very good and they do productions in the round,” Murry said. “This (Opry House) venue is a perfect fit for it. We have plenty of space and the lighting and seating give the feeling of the play being performed in the round.”

Murray said concerts, dinner theaters, weddings and bigger parties will be functional with the larger venue.

Murry, who met Sandlin at an estate auction for ballroom items, said she sees a bigger plan for the venue into the Greer downtown district.

“I dreamed of this place,” Murry said. “You can park here, eat downtown and then walk to our place for entertainment and dancing. I believe this can become the arts district in Greer.

“We are just down the street from the Cannon Centre. The two buildings across the street from (Cannon Centre) can be renovated. It has connectivity to downtown."

Sandlin said he planned for the renovation for more than a year.

“This building has a good history,” Sandlin said. “It was a feed store and then became Home Grocery store. I bought this place when it had roller skating, in 1993, It still has the rails you held onto going around the rink.”

“We’ve got a plan and we will go slow,” Murry said.

“It’s time for Greer to have an event center that can hold about (500) people,” Sandlin said. I don’t want to fail“

 

 

 

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