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Fair Theatre

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The Town of Somerville purchased the Fair Theatre in 1999 from Mr. And Mrs. Norman Fair. The Fairs built the movie theatre in 1935, and on a special night in October of 1935, the projectors were turned on for the first time in the new theatre building on East Market Street of downtown Somerville, Tennessee. The Fairs continued to show movies until the theatre was damaged by fire in June of 1953. It was renovated and reopened in April of 1954. The new theatre featured wide-screen CinemaScope pictures with improved sound.

Mr. and Mrs. Fair were a vital part of employment for the youth and teenagers of Fayette County, utilizing them in every aspect of the theatre, from selling tickets, running the projector, working concessions, and ushering.

Age and declining health prompted the Fair family to sell the theatre to the Town of Somerville in 1999. Since the Town acquired the theatre, it has benefited the community for a variety of uses, including its original purpose of showing movies, local religious groups have held worship services there, youth meetings and musicals, and puppet shows for children. The American Cancer Society Relay-for-Life teams continue to use it as a fund raising location, holding musical shows and beauty pageants. Several groups have leased the theatre to hold family musical events. Political groups have used the facility for political rallies. The Fayette County Cotton Festival holds a live auction annually in the theatre, plus other Cotton Festival events. Professional story tellers, in conjunction with the Fayette County Library and the Memphis Arts Council hosted the Fayette County School children for a storytelling event.

The theatre was the stage for acting lessons for local children taught by Ms. Irene Crist, an actress originally from Maryland. Ms Crist assisted in the great effort to revive the performing arts of Tennessee with her weekly instruction of adolescent and youth.

We have hosted the Germantown Symphony Orchestra and the Opera of Memphis, sponsored by The Bank of Fayette County, for our citizens to experience the culture of a live symphony. It has been used for a 6th grade graduation/promotion ceremony.

FAIR Theatre began live plays in 2006,  and continues to present such as "Always...Patsy Cline", "Smoke on the Mountain", "Diamond Studs...The Life of Jesse James", and "Our Town". Local actors and musicians were used to produce these plays. Many volunteers and sponsors help make these presentations possible.

The purpose of the Fair Theatre is to produce the highest quality professional theatre of artistic merit for the people of West Tennessee, residents of Somerville, Tennessee, Fayette County, Tennessee, and the surrounding areas, drawing the citizens of these areas closer together, and allowing the different schools and cultures to pull together and work together for the benefit of our citizens.

The Fair Theatre has four goals:

To have an impact on people's lives by creating theatre that simultaneously questions and entertains ....
To develop within the community an appreciation for ... And an understanding of .... The art of theatre and its themes ....
To make theatre central to Somerville's surrounding towns, Fayette County's adjoining counties, and the metropolitan Memphis, Tennessee area ....
To make an artistic contribution to the American Theatre by developing a creative environment where talented theatre artists can work on classical, contemporary, and new plays of merit and stature ....

Judy H. Sides

Theatre Coordinator
Town of Somerville, TN
Date of Hire: December 10, 2001

The Fair Theatre is governed by The Town of Somerville Marketing and Business Development Committee, Sandra Myers, Chairperson. It is under the direction of the Theatre Company, composed of Alderperson Sandra Myers, Theatre Coordinator Judy Sides, and Property Master and Set Designer Bridget German.