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Blessing in disguise: Braumart to reopen with more virtual options in place

Seth Anderson, Braumart board member, is helping organize the first live concert since the theater shut its doors during COVID-19 pandemic. Bob Milne is scheduled to perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8.

IRON MOUNTAIN — After months of being shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Braumart Theatre in Iron Mountain will reopen its doors Saturday, Aug. 8.

The historic theater at 106 E. B St. welcomes piano player Bob Milne back for the first live event since closing. Doors will open at 6 p.m., with show to start at 7.

Milne first played at the Braumart in 2012. “He delighted the audience last year and is back by popular demand,” said Jinx Brew, executive director for the Braumart Theatre.

Milne is considered to be among the best ragtime/boogie pianists in the world — a journeyman saloon player turned Library of Congress National Treasure.

“Milne at the piano is a show you don’t want to miss,” she said.

Terri Castelaz/Daily News photos

Tickets are $20, with limited seating to maintain social distancing. They can be purchased on the Braumart website at www.thebraumart.org and at the box office, if available, the day of the show.

The Braumart will follow all government guidelines for a safe reopening.

While the theater was unable to host events, they used the time to do some updating.

“One of the great things that came out of COVID-19 shutdown is we were given the chance to modernize a lot of our systems, which was a weird blessing in disguise,” said Seth Anderson, a Braumart board member.

Anderson, who directed and produced the U.P.-based series “Northbound,” is able to assist with his film background.

He came in, he said, with the idea of giving theater patrons some choices.

“Get our live events in here whenever we can at capacity seating — which is 25 percent — and at the same time be able to provide those who want to support us from home the option of doing so,” Anderson said.

The Braumart will now be able to provide a livestream of future events, in which supporters also can comment and interact online.

They recently invested in new speakers and a whole new audiovisual setup to pipe the livestream right into a special site they are currently building.

The Braumart never had an online presence for those who live outside the area but have roots in Iron Mountain, Anderson explained.

“They are able to support us where they are, with watching the livestream events and through our movie rentals,” Anderson said.

The Virtual Cinema Series adds new films weekly.

“We will continue to offer movies and other virtual events in the coming months,” Anderson said.

The Braumart’s Classic Movie Series will return at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, with a screening of “North by Northwest,” the 1959 Alfred Hitchcock thriller starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason. More classic movies will be announced each month.

Braumart events are made possible by the generosity of the community. This support gives the board confidence that 2021 will be filled with growth and quality entertainment.

“We thank all that have been supporting us through this difficult time,” Brew said. “All donations and purchased tickets make a real difference in how we move forward.”

Terri Castelaz can be reached at 906-774-2772, ext. 241, or tcastelaz@ironmountaindailynews.com.

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