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Music Memories Evolve Into A Walmart

Inside the dome at Melody Fair (Flickr)

I only live about two miles from the site but I didn’t realize the new North Tonawanda Walmart was only about two months away from opening.  A previous post reported Walmart is taking applications for the approximately 300 new jobs that will be available for the new store.  Regardless of how much they pay, it’s always good to hear that jobs are being created rather than being cut.

The paving machine is where Melody Fair's stage once stood (Photo by Dale Mussen)

But with the opening of the new Walmart comes a sadness.  The new store is being built on a portion of the property that once was home to Melody Fair.  Where the dome, the courtyard, offices and dressing rooms once stood will now be a parking lot.

Some people complained about the seats, the heat inside the dome in the summer, the stone parking lot and other things, but the place was so unique.  When you consider how close you were to the stage, even if you sat in the balcony, I don’t think there was a better place to see a concert.  Boy, I really miss that place.

And can I give you just a portion of the stars I saw there over the years?

      • Johnny Cash
      • Reba McEntire
      • Alabama
      • George Strait
      • Ronnie Milsap
      • Loretta Lynn
      • Crystal Gayle
      • George Jones
      • Brad Paisley
      • Keith Urban
      • Waylon Jennings
      • Willie Nelson
      • Glen Campbell
      • Kenny Rogers
    • And that’s just a portion of the country stars.  I saw plenty of pop and rock shows there too. Believe it or not, the Who appeared at Melody Fair in 1968.

      Melody Fair opened in 1956 under a giant round tent featuring limited run plays, Broadway-type shows and concerts.  Some years later the tent was replaced by a permanent dome.  What separated Melody Fair from almost every other venue in the country was that the stage was in the middle of the audience and the stage slowly rotated so everybody had a chance to see the show from straight ahead.

      I would think that with all the great memories there and all the incredible performers who played there, a marker or plaque should mark the spot where the great Melody Fair once stood.

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