Carrie Rengers

New owner of the Scottish Rite Center to stage first show with much more to follow

The Scottish Rite Center saw a lot of activity over the weekend with the Tallgrass Film Festival, but this weekend is going to be the first official show the new owners of the building will stage.

TempleLive Wichita is bringing Candlebox to the Scottish Rite Center on Friday for the Seattle rock group’s 25th anniversary tour.

“This will be the first show,” says Mike Brown, vice president of operations for TempleLive Wichita.

Arkansas-based Beaty Capital Group formed BCG Historic Wichita to buy the building at the northwest corner of First and Topeka earlier this year.

Beaty and affiliate TempleLive Wichita plan multiuse entertainment and events in the space and also are leasing a small space back to the Scottish Rite.

Brown says there will be all kinds of shows, from rock and country to comedy and children’s shows.

“That’ll all come out here pretty quick,” he says of the future lineup.

Within the next month or two, he says there will be a lot announced.

“We would anticipate keeping a pretty regular schedule of entertainment there.”

Brown says TempleLive has not made a lot of changes to the Romanesque building, which was built for the YMCA between 1887 and 1888. The Scottish Rite Freemasons purchased it in 1898.

There have been renovations and additions through the years, and the building has been added to historic registries.

The 75,903-square-foot space has a more than 700-seat auditorium and a dining area for 450 people. There’s a 3,000-square-foot commercial kitchen.

“The building was really in pretty good shape,” Brown says.

He says maintenance is “an ongoing process with a hundred-year-old building, as you can imagine.”

There’s no sign advertising TempleLive, and Brown says it’s yet to be determined if there will be one.

Even though TempleLive will keep the building occupied with shows much of the time, Brown says he still will welcome back Tallgrass next year.

“Absolutely,” he says. “I think that’s a good thing for the community and the city.”

As for the other shows, Brown says, “Keep your eyes and ears open.”

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Carrie Rengers has been a reporter for almost three decades, including 16 years at The Wichita Eagle. Her Have You Heard? column of business scoops runs five days a week in The Eagle. If you have a tip, please e-mail or tweet her or call 316-268-6340.
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