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Opry comes to Martinsburg


The Journal

MARTINSBURG, W.Va.  — The city will soon be able to boast having its country music “opry.”

To be called Shenandoah Valley Opry, the music venue will provide live entertainment to the greater Martinsburg area starting Aug. 5.

Jim and Melanie Hodge on stage at the Shenandoah Valley Opry in Martinsburg.
(Photo by Ron Agnir)

Located at 796 Foxcroft Ave. behind the Outback Steakhouse at the Foxcroft Towne Center, the Shenandoah Valley Opry opens on Aug. 5, promising to offer traditional country music that is to include standards by George Jones, Merle Haggard and Patsy Cline.

The venue will charge $15 admission. Snacks and various soft drinks will be sold. The hall will feature three musical sets per night.

Owners Jim and Melanie Hodge hope their hall will serve as an alternative musical destination to the areas bars and clubs, and help give greater Martinsburg an economic push.

“We want to bring good vibes to Martinsburg,” Melanie Hodge said. “And to encourage families to do something together.”

The Hodges also hope to provide a fresh musical sound for area residents.

“It will be a Branson (Missouri) style musical theater with dancing,” said Jim Hodge, referring to the strip of country music themed theaters along 76 Country Boulevard in Branson, Missouri, including Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede.

The Hodges also hope the hall’s alcohol free status will attract a clientele looking for a different entertainment venue — one that touts a safe, family-oriented atmosphere.

“We hope to draw a crowd from a safety standpoint,” said Jim Hodge, who will accompany Melanie’s singing with the steel guitar. “It seems if the people had the choice, they’d make the right one.”

Professional musicians who have performed on Carnival Cruise ships for the last 20 years, the Hodges have long dreamed of starting their own musical club.

“We always wanted to open a venue where families can come together ,” Jim Hodge said. “It’s a place where you can bring a date and dance.”

With an estimated 200 seat capacity, the 1,975 square foot hall will also feature oldies tunes from the 50s and 60s and two-step and line dancing lessons on Fridays from 5 to 6 p.m.

To date, the club has signed on three local sponsors: The Guitar Room, Printing Impressions and Bucky’s Auto Body LTD.

The Hodges will start off with a weekend schedule with plans to gradually add other nights over the next year. It will also hold special musical events and shows around Halloween, Christmas and New Year’s.

The Hodges plan to add local musical talent to their venue after New Year’s, and are also mulling how to expand its food menu.

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