Historic Fort Smith Temple Opens As Music Venue

FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Temple Live, a hidden historic gem in downtown Fort Smith opens to offer fun for concert-goers along with other entertainment.

What was once a Masonic temple built in the 1920's has been transformed into a music venue filled with unique art and moldings.

"The building is amazing, the artwork is amazing, the history is amazing," Lance Dierker, production manager said. "To see it come to this point, it's exciting and it just gives you chills that we've all realized this vision."

Country artist, Joe Nichols will be the first recording artist to take the stage on Friday (Aug. 25) night and many other famous acts including Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam and the Charlie Miller Band will follow in the coming months.

"It's been here in Fort Smith and a lot of people have never been in the building," Mike Brown, Temple Live said. "There's a huge demand for people to come here."

This hidden treasure will also offer event spaces along with comedy shows and other entertainment.

"The building in total is around 63,000 square feet, which is similar in size to the White House," Brown said. "[That] gives you a perspective of how big this thing is."

The theater seats more than 1,000 people, but this historic building offers much more than a seat for a concert.

"Everywhere you turn, there's something new to look at and some amazing architecture," Dierker said. "It's an amazing old building."

Now concert-goers won't have to travel to experience an intimate concert or show.

"If you look around, the back left corner is literally 64 feet from [the stage]," Brown said. "You don't need video screens or binoculars or any of that."

Those at Temple Live said they hope the venue will serve as a great addition to the downtown area.

"If the momentum keeps up with what everybody is doing and the development that's happening, I think Fort Smith is on the beginning of a huge, huge change of what's happening downtown, "Brown said.

The venue also features a private club downstairs called the Sphinx Club.

For more information or to purchase show tickets, visit the Temple Live website.