Bands raise the roof on the Jayhawk Theatre

Michael Vander Linden / Washburn Review

Washburn Student Media is hosting its annual Jayhawk Theatre Revival event at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in the Regency Ballroom on Friday, April 13.

The kick off time is 7 p.m. and the event will conclude sometime around midnight.

This year’s theme is a battle of the bands. Six bands from around the area will step on stage to perform for the audience in an attempt to win their vote at the end of the night.

“We decided to do a battle of the bands as an exciting way to bring the new generation in to help our historical cause,” said Josh Rouse, senior mass media major.

Rouse has played a major role in helping develop this year’s event.

“Everyone will be having a good time listening to music, enjoying food, etc, but the real purpose here is to keep putting more money into restoring the old Jayhawk Theatre,” said Rouse.

The Jayhawk Theatre first opened its doors in August of 1926. However, nearly 50 years later, its curtains were closed for the last time. People began thinking about ideas of replacing it with a mall or restaurant, but it has remained an empty space since then.

However, in 1993, the theatre was named the State Theatre of Kansas.

In recent years, many organizations have taken a part in the attempt to revive the theatre and bring it back to its historical glory. In the last five years alone, more than $125,000 has been raised for stabilization and preservation of the building.

“The Jayhawk Theatre is a major part of our history,” said Rouse. “History is what makes us who we are today and everyone should want to be a part of bringing that history back to life.”

The hopes are, one day, the building will once again be used for live entertainment and a place where both young and old want to go for a day of pleasurable entertainment.

The battle of the bands is the way to earn money, but they are not only playing for the pride in helping restore history.

Paul Schneider of Rundown Studios is donating $520 in studio time to the winners of the competition free of charge. Also, WIBW in Topeka and Gizmo Pictures donated money to help put the event on.

“We’re really thankful that Rundown Studios helped us,” said Rouse. “They’re really supportive of the local music scene and local businesses and we just appreciate how Paul donated his time for this cause.”

T-shirts will be sold as the admissions tickets and they can be bought every day in the union from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Thursday.

Elisa Gayle, who coordinated the event, looks forward to seeing everyone there.

“It’s an event that is fun, and it supports a great cause,” said Gayle. “It’s going to be great.”