A tribute concert is set for Thursday night at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium before renovations get underway in coming weeks.
On May 1st, the auditorium will shut its doors for a year while substantial improvements are made. Some of those renovations will include facelifts while keeping the art deco period style in the auditorium, replacing the floors, putting in new seats in the orchestra level, adding air conditioning to the lobby and rewiring the entire building.
Officials say the main reason for the renovations is to bring seating in the building up to code with The American Disabilities Act.
After the grand reopening, national name artists will come and play the Hayride as they did in the 1950s. "Whenever the facility is completely renovated, we're going to have the big grand reopening in April 2014. We're planning a massive month long celebration but the keynote if you will, the hallmark of that grand reopening is a rebirth of the Louisiana Hayride brand," says SMG General Manager Sam Voisin. Officials are working on a nationally televised program to show Hayride concerts from the Municipal Auditorium.
The auditorium will also be featured on a Sci-Fi cable show. "April 17th, 'Ghost Hunters' is going to air their season premiere based on what they have found in their municipal auditorium. It's all friendly, it's all fun. But at the same time, that is just one character from the building. You know, from Elvis, to Hank to Johnny Cash. They've all been here. A lot of people don't know that Jimmy Hendrix has been here," says Voisin.