UPLAND, CA. Elvis Tribute Artists (ETAs) are the heart and soul keeping the memory of Elvis alive. Without each one braving the stage to look like Elvis, sing like Elvis, and move like Elvis he would have long been forgotten. ETAs are more than entertainers. They are performing artists who need the stages of community theatres to express their art. Community theatres are the heart and soul for the performing arts. Their life blood is dependent upon the generosity of private donations, grants, monetary awards, endowments and the ticket sales from entertainment troupes igniting the imaginations of the audiences.
The Grove Theatre & Academy, located in Upland’s historic downtown, is such a theatre igniting the imaginations of its community. Owner, Sherry Kinison, is married to Bill Kinison who is the brother of the late comedian, Sam Kinison. She recently received disconcerting news regarding the second mortgage on the property. The legal counsel representing the City of Upland Community Redevelopment Agency has demanded the theatre to pay in full $162,464 by September 1st. The life blood of the theatre is in jeopardy of being drained.
It’s unclear whether the actions taken by legal counsel is at the bequest of the City of Upland or initiated by the California Department of Finance. Regardless, the legal counsel stated in their notice to Mrs. Kinison they will take “what action is necessary” including “litigation to recover such funds.” Mrs. Kinison is taking her own action and asking for support.
The theatre has been self-sufficient since it was purchased 23 years ago by Mrs. Kinison and this is the first time she has asked for monetary support from the community. Helping with the efforts to raise the money to payoff the mortgage is Chris Hernandez of CH Star Productions/Scrappy Cat Entertainment. He and his band, TCB Flash Band, have put out a call to all Elvis Tribute Artists to donate their talents for a benefit concert.
The benefit concert needs 10-12 ETAs who are willing to donate their time and talent to rock it like Elvis. So far five ETAs from California have volunteered: Chris Luna, Joe Bullock, Ceaser Garcia, Brad Carrow, and Jacob Roman. Each ETA will have the opportunity to sing five to six songs each backed by TCB Flash Band.
Chris Luna has taken the lead to encourage his fellow ETAs to take part in an incredible show. Luna can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his Facebook page: Chris Luna: A Tribute to Elvis. Showtime is Friday, August 23rd, 7:00 p.m. at the theatre. Tickets are $10 with all proceeds donated to the theatre to pay off the debt. More details and ticket information are forthcoming.
We know it’s last minute, but Grove Theatre & Academy only has 30 days to pay off $162,264. Moreover, interested ETAs do not have to come only from California. All ETAs from neighboring states are welcome to come out and donate their time for a good cause. If you can’t make it to the theatre donations can be made online: Support the Grove Theater and Academy.
Come on, volunteer, and rock it like Elvis.