Country music legend Leroy Van Dyke, and former Sedalia radio personality, Marty Lange, are releasing a new album, with the proceeds to benefit the historic Uptown Theatre in Sedalia.

The Uptown Theatre opened in 1936, but has been closed for 42 years. A restoration project is currently underway, organized by Marty Lange and Sedalia Downtown Development Inc.

Lange says when the Uptown Theatre is restored, it will provide more quality entertainment than any other house of entertainment in the community's history!

Some of the future events the theatre plans to offer include, live music, comedy shows, screenings of classic movies, Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival events, film festivals private parties, conferences, and reunions.

The plan also consists of the theatre housing a museum dedicated to entertainers with Central Missouri roots such as Jack Oakie, Pearl White, Dorothy Dawn Ilgenfritz, Scott Joplin, Johnny Nace, and Leroy Van Dyke, as well as World Champion billiardist Johnny Red Layton whose career began in the building that preceded the Uptown, according to the press release.

The press release goes on to say, Theatre Director, Marty Lange is a former radio personality whose career took him to radio stations in Sedalia, Sikeston, and Chillicothe Missouri, as well as stations in New Mexico and Tennessee. The songwriting multi-instrumentalist lived in Nashville, Tennessee for six years before returning to Missouri and taking on the task of renovating the closed theatre. Lange is releasing a Country music album of original material including a duet with his hero and fellow Pettis County native, Leroy Van Dyke. The album will benefit the renovation and Mr. Lange will go on a tour of media outlets across Missouri beginning late October 2017, to not only promote the album but to raise support of the theatre’s GoFundMe site in which they are hoping to raise $200,000 to complete the renovation.

More information about the renovation project and music can be found at the Uptown Theatre Sedalia Facebook page and martylange.com.

Randy Kirby