This isn”t your old State Theater.
The latest reincarnation of Starkville”s utilitarian Main Street theater, slated to open later this week, includes the familiar bar and music fare supplemented by 35 flat-screen televisions, cigars, cheesecake, chicken wings, wine and the kids from Jersey Shore.
Yes, the actual kids from Jersey Shore.
Daniel Waide, nephew of Tupelo attorney Jim Waide, is trying to avoid pouring $100,000 into his latest venture, but it”s getting difficult. The 2003 Immanuel Center for Christian Education and 2007 Mississippi College law school grad is betting his high-dollar improvements will be met by higher-dollar sales as he attempts to turn the State Theater into a premiere night spot, complete with nationally recognized names.
Neither the improvements nor the names come cheap.
“We”ve got tens of thousands put in (the theater). We haven”t crossed the $100,000 marker yet and we”re trying to avoid it. But with the band bookings we”re getting close to it,” said Waide Monday as he took a break from mounting television brackets from the ceiling at the theater.
The first big name will hit the stage Saturday at 11 p.m. as rapper Fat Joe brings the Bronx to Starkville. Tickets are $25 at the door.
March 26 is T-shirt Time when the cast of Jersey Shore comes to party. Waide isn”t sure how many of the cast members will be on hand (Vinny Guadagnino is confirmed), but he”ll treat them to a Jersey Shore party complete with a costume contest. The winner, to be selected by the Jersey Shore cast, will have his or her cover charge to the State Theater waived for a year, so break out your Bumpits. Tickets are $30 to get in and $100 for VIP seating with the cast.
Future events will include a concert from the North Mississippi Allstars, a possible Jive Records “white party” (where everyone dresses head-to-toe in white) to present emerging artists, a fashion show, local bands and Mississippi-made film screenings.
One special guest who will not be appearing is Kim Kardashian.
“Some people just won”t come (to Mississippi). And she”s way too expensive for my tastes,” said Waide.
But you get the picture. Waide hopes to keep the big names rolling through Starkville on a regular basis.
As far as a daily basis, State Theater will be just as fresh with special recipes added regularly to the menu at Dawg Wingz, one of two restaurants to open inside the theater. The other restaurant, the upstairs Tilt, will feature wine and cocktails served in special leaning glasses, Cheesecake Factory desserts, fondue and a selection of fine cigars to be enjoyed on the balcony.
Live music will be offered every Thursday, including band practice and sound check from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. when customers can relax with a beer tower and listen.
Of course, all of the club management comes secondary to Waide”s law practice, which will handle the typical divorce cases and DUI defenses. But the former Division 2 defensive lineman already has bar management experience as the owner of Tabs in the Cotton District.
Jason Browne was previously a reporter for The Dispatch.