Historic Temple Theatre Thriving

Temple Theatre building manager, Benny Eggler, describes business as "magnificent". In fact, he even says that last year's opening of the
MSU Riley Center in downtown Meridian hasn't been a hindrance for the Temple, but instead a help.

"In 2006, we had over 71,000 people in this building," Eggler said.

Eggler says that's a record for recent years, when the Temple has hosted everything from ballet to balls. One of the big draws has been the fact that the Temple has more seats than the Riley Center.

"Out of the 68 different events in the last year, we had about 25 of them that were sold out," said Eggler. "That's 1,500 seats every time. We've had over 7,000 here since Jan. 1."

He said business is so good that the Temple is booked up every weekend until late June, with several big shows set to be held in April alone.

Some of the groups include the U.S. Army Band and the Mississippi Mass Choir and.

"We've got The Drifters, and hopefully Berry Gordy,, the father of Motown will be with them. They'll be here next month on the 27th," said Eggler. "We want to hit over 80,000 in 2007. We are looking at expanding, trying to be a good neighbor even for the Riley Center. The goal in Meridian is to create an entertainment center."

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