The Williamsport Community Concert Association Saturday will present The 5 Browns in concert, which may be the last show held in the Scottish Rite Auditorium before its doors close early next year.
"We are sorry to see it happen because it's an outstanding auditorium and we've had a wonderful working relationship with the Consistory," said Dale Bower, association president. "It's the end of an era."
Charles Greevy, an attorney with the Scottish Rite Masonic organization, said there is no exact date for closure at this point, but it is looking at sometime in mid January.
"We feel very sad about the closure of the auditorium because there are no better acoustics anywhere in the city," said Shirley Knade, association vice president. "We've been there for so many years, it's hard to conceive us being anywhere else."
The site was approved for possible sale by the Scottish Rite Trustees Board in late spring.
Mayor Gabriel J. Campana said the auditorium could be made into a 60-vehicle parking deck with offices and residential mixed-use space above.
Greevy said the buyer has been working with the city to help in deciding the best use of the property and how much of it would be remodeled or maintained.
"It would not be anticipated that there would be a complete demolition of the building," he added. "That would be up to the new owner."
Greevy said things are moving along smoothly and he is pleased with how well the two groups are working together.
The show Saturday is the last concert scheduled for this year and may be the last held in the auditorium as the next concert is scheduled for February.
"This may be the last time for people to hear a concert in that auditorium," Bower said. "It's kind of a shame for this to be the last concert before the wrecking ball."
The association has three more concerts already on the books following Saturday's show. Two will be held at Loyalsock Township High School and one at Williamsport Area High School, according to Bower.
"I think we have a very good venue in Loyalsock High School and I believe we will do well with wherever we go because we have such a fine series," Knade said.
The Loyalsock auditorium seats 500, which could pose a slight handicap for concerts that typically bring in an audience of more than 600. More than 800 will attend the show on Saturday, Bower said.
The association has held five concerts in the auditorium each year since it opened in 1968, featuring many different types of acts including international and classical artists and orchestras.
"All the artists we bring in perform all over the world and they all remark about the excellent acoustics, and that's what's going to be lost," Bower said.
Knade said the association plans to develop a permanent home for its concerts when the year is over.
"We are going to go forward and emerge brand new," she said.