|WRLT | 502 S. Pleasant Hill Road | Warner Robins, Georgia 31088-4347 | See a map | Get Directions | Email Us! | 478-929-4579|
In June 1962, twenty-five citizens created Warner Robins' first community theatre. Seven months later WRLT presented "My Three Angels" in a converted dairy barn on the old Richard Johnson farm on Elberta Road. Actors had to climb a pull-down staircase to get to the barn's loft, which served as a cramped dressing room. There also was a small prop room, but no running water - and no bathrooms. Productions of "The Last Leaf" and "Only an Orphan Girl" completed the 1962 - 63 season.
Later, the theatre group moved to 'The Upper Room', so named because of the narrow flight of stairs leading to the small stage located on the second floor of the building next to the old Wellston Theatre on First Street. Many rehearsals took place in 'The Upper Room', which doubled as a storage place for costumes, props, and scenery. Meanwhile, the WRLT board of governors would rent available stages for the evenings of the actual performances.
In 1972, WRLT incorporated, and in 1977 WRLT supporters began looking for a permanent location. Later that year the board of governors received a clear deed for 2.3 acres on Glen Drive, but plans to construct a new facility were tabled due to the prohibitive cost.
On April 24, 1979, a fire destroyed the Wellston Theatre - and 'The Upper Room'. Everything was lost - sets, costumes, props and a lighting control panel. But the show must go on, and it did.
In June 1980, WRLT purchased Harold's Catfish House, formerly Harold's Bar-B-Que, at 502 South Pleasant Hill Road. It needed much renovation, but it had 1,800 square feet, a paved parking lot, storage space and a sign. The board of governors took out a 15-year mortgage on the building and property, and then spent countless volunteer hours and $45,000 on renovations and furnishings. Interior walls were removed, fire exits were installed, dressing rooms were built, a stage was constructed, an office and lobby were added and restrooms were renovated to make them accessible to the handicapped.
On January 28, 1982, WRLT opened the doors to its new playhouse with the presentation of "Move Over, Mrs. Markham," featuring the talents of local thespians.
In December of 1992, the WRLT finally achieved one of it's main goals, to have a fully paid for facility. Our mortgage was paid off and the building 100 percent ours. This was accomplished without any major funding. Our prime source of income is ticket sales, memberships, and program advertising.
In July of 1993, the WRLT purchased the adjoining lot of 1.5 acres on South Pleasant Hill Road. This will allow for future expansion of our facility, allowing us to serve the community for many years to come.