High Places owns and operates the Historic Grove Theater, a Manhattan Era Legacy Site

The Grove Theater: An Experiment of Grace

When High Places Community Church purchased the Historic Grove Theater in 2004, the reality was we were outgrowing our space on Outer Drive. The reality was the Grove Theater was outside of our budget. The reality was that the theater was deteriorated to the point where many in the community wanted it torn down. These were great challenges.

But by grace, we looked at these realities through another lens: Faith. There are many whose Faith made the transition into the Grove possible, many others who helped make restoration possible. Some are with us formally, some are with us informally, and others are no longer with us. But without their Faith, The Grove Theater would be nothing more than another crumbing building in town.

The building was a wonderful gift that came at a time we needed more space; a gift that came with an opportunity to give back. Very early into the process, High Places decided to make The Grove Theater free and open to the entire community. We knew firsthand how hard it was to find qualiy space on little to no budget & our commitment has always been to help ease those burdens.

Our faciliy philosophy is simple:

 The Church has always been and will always be made of "living stones." A builing is just a building or a tool, but the church is people. High Places was never meant to be a physical address. It is the people who are sacred, not the bricks and mortar of a building.

In many respects we view this facility as a gift by which we have been blessed. We believe it is our responsibility to use it to bless others. The decision not to charge is a sincere one and it comes with no strings attached. 

Facility restoration is a WINDOW into a much different idea of community space, community diversity, and community economics. Some peer into that window and see it; some don't. But we believe this is about much more than restoring a building. It is the medium through which we are called to restore something more.

Ownership of shared spaces can be messy & in our messes we are often required to stretch and grow together - developing the character qualities of love & sacrifice which we believe were revealed in the person of Jesus.

While committed to a 'no-charge' policy we also welcome contributions of all kinds from those who wish to share in the theater's expanding service and vision -- from scheduled work days to expertise in light & sound, to making financial donations to assist with keeping the lights on and the doors open. Better yet, all are invited to get in on the mission to transform the way our society views and treats shared spaces, such as the theater which records roughly 10,000 visits per year by people who love the Arts. Catch the vision, spread it around and help pay it forward for a better Oak Ridge, East Tennessee, and world! 

Reserving The Historic Grove Theater

Scores of community groups reserve the theater every year. As you might imagine, it can be difficult to create a schedule that meets everyone's individual needs. We work hard to meet each need as it arises. For booking and holding a successful event, we recommend:

1.  First, check the facility calendar linked on this page. Don't immediately assume that just because something is written on the date you want to use the facility that it is completely unavailable. Look at each event to determine its actual start and finish times, or try to figure how much of the space the group might be taking. For example, a symphony concert may require the entire building, while a string rehearsal may only need a single room.

2. Once you feel confident about your date, visit www.thegrovetheater.org and look for the tab on booking for the theater.  

3.  Keep in mind that just because the date is open, doesn't necessarily mean your event is a given, so hold off on printing flyers or making announcements until confirmed. Often, staff is aware of items that don't immediately appear on the calendar, such as a request that is under-review.

4.  On receiving a potential green light for your event, you will be scheduled a facility orientation meeting with a member of staff, especially if you are a first time user of the space. In the meeting, we will fill out paperwork and review building procedures such as thermostats, lights, and clean-up. Your slot will be formally confirmed upon completion of the meeting and added to the calendar.

5.  As the day of your scheduled event approaches, it is always a good idea to check with staff once more as a friendly reminder. With the building receiving so much use, we often have to go through the day or two prior to make sure sound & lights are wired and ready and someone is scheduled to open up the building.

That's it! Remember that part of our vision is creating a shared space so be flexible, be patient, and be respectful to staff and property as we work with you on your event. We're on this journey together; our destination is a brighter tomorrow by celebrating community and building trust.