Revived WWII dance hall in Kountze to open Friday night - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Revived WWII dance hall in Kountze to open Friday night

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A man of many talents, Mickey Lancaster hopes to showcase his talent on the harmonica and keyboard for a packed house Friday night.

"It's going to be pretty eclectic, being our opening night," Lancaster told 12News Thursday.

Lancaster spent his Thursday afternoon testing the sound system, preparing for Friday night's grand opening of the new County Seat Music Hall, located at 125 Brown Street in Kountze.

Well, it's kind of new. Built back in 1946, then the Hardin County American Legion Post, the building served as a dance hall for veterans returning from World War II. Over the years it became home to other events.

"My wife used to come to high school dances in the late 60s and early 70s here," said Lancaster.

Since the mid-80s, the building has been used mainly as a storage facility, until it was purchased for $55,000 three-and-a-half years ago by the Hardin County Genealogical Society, whose members hope to return it to its former glory.

"We've been working on this building for probably a good year... we want everybody in the county to be able to use it," said Floyd Boyett, president of the Hardin County Genealogical Society.

With room for about 200 people, organizers hope the hall is used for family reunions, live action plays, and of course, live music and dancing.

"We'll have country music nights... bluegrass nights.. gospel music nights... there's a lot of people that are very very talented, and this area is full of musicians," said Boyett.

"I envision this to be a draw for tourism," said Lancaster.

"It's a family place. I tell people you can bring your grandma or your grandson," said Boyett. 

The grand opening is Friday, January 10 at 6 p.m. and will go until about 10 p.m.

It's free and open to the public, but organizers are hoping those who come might be willing to give a small donation. since they still need about a $100,000 to pay for a much needed paved parking lot, central heating and air conditioning, and more tables and chairs.

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