Originally published in Through the Lens Magazine on November 23, 2015
Article and photos by Melodie Yvonne Ramey
LAFAYETTE, IN – Lafayette is like a lot of towns across the Hoosier land. It is a rather larger community yet still boasts that down-home friendly atmosphere. It has kept up with modern times although it has an atmosphere still steeped in the rich days of yesteryear. Part of this beautiful history includes the everlasting wonder that is the Lafayette Theater and Events Center.
Built in 1938, Lafayette Theater is a unique and historic landmark that has been recently revived by co-owners, Nate Pientok and Jordan Flack. Both men have spent their whole lives in Lafayette, and met through a mutual musical friend. Pientok and Flack both seem to recognize a musical void in their town, and it seems that they both have the drive and the know how to be able to fill it.
What began with a love for music, and a dream for both looks to have now turned into a sustainable concert hall and events center that will hopefully be a mainstay in the community for centuries to come. Pientok and Flack, co-owners of Main Street Live LLC, took over management at the theater in late January 2015. Since then, the wunderkind duo have been actively and steadily pursuing nationally touring live entertainment, and successfully reigning them in all the while making their hometown proud. Already concert goers visiting the magnificent theater have seen the likes of electronic dance music artist Paper Diamond, country star Joe Nichols, Staind frontman Aaron Lewis, funk outfit Here Come the Mummies, the spectacular jam band Moe., and the legendary George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic even blessed the stage just recently in early November. Although it was once a black and white movie theater, the new Lafayette Theater and Events Center has been renovated many times over the ages, and Flack and Pientok’s hard work has helped to transform it into what it is today.
A ticket booth/will call booth is located right outside the main doors, and anyone in search of a last minute ticket will be greeted by a very friendly, helpful, and phenomenal staff. The original marquee still stands proud on the historic outside, and as with any old theater, nostalgia is steeped in every nook and cranny, but the inside now also has a more modern feel. The main floor contains a front lobby, bathroom facilities, a 21 and up bar area/all ages concessions, and of course the stage stretching past the massive dance floor.
The main room can hold tables and chairs for special events, or can be cleared out to accomodate any occasion. The second floor contains an additional lobby with bar and concession area, bathroom facilities, and 340 built in theater chairs overlooking the main floor. The theater’s phenomenal ambiance inside and out makes concert goers from all across the world and all walks of life feel right at home.
The comfortable environment plus the recent rash of spectacular musical guests is definitely helping the Lafayette Theater make a name for itself, but if that’s not enough the theater is also in a perfect location, and easily accesible for travelers from any direction. It is located on I65 just two hours south of Chicago, and one hour north of Indianapolis. Even traveling all the way from Mobile, Alabama is an easy trip for a diehard fan with a straight trip up Interstate 65, and just a couple minute jaunt from the exit ramp. There are also many wonderful hotel and restaurant selections waiting to make a traveler feel at home just minutes from the venue for those not wanting to make the long trek back home.
The Lafayette Theater has quickly become a new Hoosier favorite, and will definitely become a favorite for people all over the world very soon as the tickets sell insanely quickly for the upcoming 2 night performance of the epic Blind Melon. The fanatstic reviews keep coming in, and this upcoming show will prove to be no different. The high quality sound and lights handled by the Lafayette Theater’s production manager, Andy Vigus, have already proven that they are definitely up to the task. Vigus recently had his skills tested when the great George Clinton put the sound and lights in Andy’s hands, and then waived the sound check. The entire performance was, of course, a huge success impressing fans from near and far just like the extraordinary illuminations created for the wonderful “Moe.rons” that filled the theater for Moe. in October.
It’s obvious that as the years go by the Lafayette Theater, and all of the wonderful people that make the place tick are just going to keep getting better and better. The upcoming Blind Melon New Year’s performances will be another perfect example of many of the “Do Not Miss” events to come. The shows will undoubtedly sell out by the start of December, and “Melonheads” will stream into Lafayette from all over the world giving the town, and the spectacular people at the theater yet another chance to shine. With each phenomenal show that the amazing Jordan Flack and Nate Pientok deliver another brick is lain in the foundation of Lafayette’s music history, and soon, concert lovers everywhere will know that this once seemingly small town is where they simply MUST visit so they themselves can be a part of this remarkable history in the making.
Planning on visiting the Lafayette Theater?
Address: 600 Main Street, Lafayette, Indiana
View all of Melodie’s work at melodieyvonne.com/category/melodie-yvonne