About: Margaret Martin and
The Natchez Apollo Theater in 2014! This beautiful theater was one of the sets for the soon to-be-released Get on Up which chronicles the life of James Brown, one of the most influential musicians in history. The movie was directed by Tate Taylor.
margaret martin performing arts center restoration project
There is now tremendous community interest in restoring the MMPAC to its former glory. Natchez and the Festival have acquired a grant for exterior restoration and for stage safety. Additional monies are needed in order for the Festival to complete the restoration project with update the facilities and fixtures. Join the NFM, a Mississippi non-profit corporation, and the City of Natchez in the MMPAC Restoration Project with your tax deductible contributions and donations made payable to the Natchez Opera Festival, Inc., P. O. Box 1562, Natchez, MS 39121. This project follows the Festival’s initial efforts when it moved into the City-owned building in 1999.
Thanks to previous grant monies and efforts of former students and the Festival’s dedicated friends, the initial restoration of the facilities resulted in a new roof, replacing window panes and painting exterior window frames, updating the auditorium with comfortable heating and cooling, providing décor with upholstered seating, a new stage curtain, drapes, carpeting and chandeliers. The facility has a totally computerized state of the art lighting system. Subtitles are projected at the stage so lyrics can be understood by the English-speaking audience when events are presented in their original production language. There is still much to be done—restoration of rehearsal rooms and restrooms.
This venue has been the setting for countless events which hold fond memories for the students who remember exciting times learning, playing, and growing up—the foundation for the life-long relationships established during that treasured time in that special place. These are now the adults who have contributed so much to their communities and country, fought in its wars, provided leadership, created and worked in such a variety of jobs. The memories of an earlier life when Natchez High School/Margaret Martin Junior High School was filled with the energy and bustle of generations of young people working to be the best ever are revived in the echoes and sounds of music which serve to honor the memory of the woman for whom the Old Natchez High School was re-named—Miss Margaret Martin. Miss Martin, a long time educator and principal of the school, was devoted to the arts and advocacy for integrity, honor, and excellence in every endeavor.
Photographs of the Old Natchez High School (Margaret Martin Junior High School aka Margaret Martin Performing Arts Center), 64 Homochitto Street, Natchez, Adams County, Mississippi from the National Park Services Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) are on file with the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. The photographs and related data were created by the federal government specifically for the HABS project, are in the public domain, and were not copied from other sources. These photographs of the Old Natchez High School (ca. 1927) are among the oldest in the collection. Call Numbers: HABS MS-285 and HABS MS-285-2.