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The GEM Theatre is located in Downtown Calhoun.

CALHOUN — Downtown Calhoun’s GEM Theatre is now open at full capacity for the first time since the coronavirus hit locally last March.

GEM Theatre Manager and Marketing Director Kim Brazell said the return to normalcy is in accordance with guidelines set by Gov. Brian Kemp to ease COVID-19 pandemic restrictions across the entire state.

“He said he wanted to open the state up and the guidance has been that we should reopen with our full seating,” Brazell said. “We encourage everyone to do what they decide is best as far as wearing a mask goes. We want people to do what they are comfortable with and feel is best for their health, with the knowledge that our seating is back to normal and will not be socially distanced as we transition back to the way things were before the pandemic.”

Brotherhood: A Doobie Brothers Tribute will be the first performers to take the post-pandemic stage at the GEM on Saturday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m.

A band made up of eight veteran musicians, Brotherhood attempts to replicate and honor the musicianship and vocal harmonies that Doobie Brothers’ fans have come to love over the last 50 years. The show at the GEM will feature high-energy hits, album deep cuts and fan favorite tunes like “What A Fool Believes” and “Black Water.”

“We are so excited to be able to put on this show and to be able to do it with full seating again,” Brazell said. “This pandemic has been really hard on venues and the entertainment industry as a whole, so being back to normal in that way is going to make such a big difference for us.”

All shows at the GEM moving forward will be full-capacity unless another COVID-19 outbreak occurs, she said. The theater will follow state guidelines and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention if that were to happen. She also emphasized that she hopes those attending shows will be careful when doing so, even as things return to normal.

“I urge everyone to be careful, but we all make decisions about wearing masks and social distancing and vaccinations and things like that on our own. It’s not my job to tell people how to feel about those things,” Brazell said. “We encourage them to wear masks if that’s what they want to do, but we are not requiring it.”

Following the Brotherhood performance on May 22, the GEM is scheduled to host The Nelons on Saturday, June 5, at 7:30 p.m., and 7 Bridges: The Ultimate Eagles Experience on Saturday, June 19, at 7:30 p.m.

A full list of upcoming shows and concerts can be found online at CalhounGemTheatre.org. Ticket purchases can be made at the same website or over the phone at 706-625-3132.

Kelcey Walker is a reporter for the Calhoun Times in Calhoun, Ga.

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