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Couple Transforming Paradise Playhouse into Firefly Event Center

Firefly Event Venue in downtown Excelsior Springs
The Paradise Playhouse will soon become Firefly Event Center (photo S Jason Cole).

Excelsior Springs is set to witness a revival of one of its cherished landmarks, the Paradise Playhouse, thanks to the ambitious efforts of a young couple, Adam and Sarah Love. The Loves have embarked on a journey to transform the once-deserted building into a vibrant hub of entertainment and celebration, aptly rebranding it as the Firefly Event Center.

Adam, originally from Kearney, and Sarah, a former employee of the Paradise Playhouse under its original owners, Frank and Cathy Parrino, are no strangers to the potential and challenges of revitalizing such a significant space. Constructed in 1999 by the Parrinos, the Paradise Playhouse Dinner Theatre quickly became a community staple, thriving for a decade on the support of season ticket holders and offering a unique blend of dining and entertainment.

Adam and Sarah Love
Adam and Sarah Love (submitted photo).

However, the theater’s lights dimmed over time, leaving a void in the hearts of those who remembered its glory days. Now, the Loves are determined to reignite the spark of creativity and community connection. “We have various events in the works,” Adam enthusiastically shared, outlining plans for stand-up comedy, music events, magicians, live theatre, and more. While they are not planning to show movies at this time, they are keeping their options open for the future.

One of the venue’s greatest assets is its fully functioning industrial kitchen, which the Loves plan to utilize for weddings and parties once renovations are complete. The community’s excitement is palpable, with Adam revealing, “We’ve already had people calling wanting to know if they can rent the space.”

Firefly Theatre Event Stage
The stage is set for a new beginning at the old venue (photo Courtney Cole).

Sarah, a board-certified nurse practitioner with Saint Luke’s Cardiovascular Consultants, worked years ago as a waitress at the Paradise Playhouse. She brings invaluable experience from her time working for the Parrinos to this new venture. Her insights into the playhouse’s successful past fuel the couple’s vision for its future. “She knows it can work,” Adam said, reflecting on Sarah’s connection to the venue’s history.

The decision to rebrand was not made lightly, especially considering the Paradise Playhouse’s nostalgic significance. Yet, the Loves believe a fresh start is essential for moving forward. This sentiment was symbolized by donating the original Paradise Playhouse sign to the new Lumi Neon Museum in Kansas City, which sparked curiosity and conversation among locals.

Paradise Playhouse sign being taken down off the front of the Firefly Theatre
The dismantling of the Paradise signage drew many onlookers (submitted citizen photo).

As Excelsior Springs eagerly awaits the grand opening of the Firefly Event Center, targeted for mid-April, Adam and Sarah are focused on the hard work ahead. Their goal is not just to refurbish a building but to rekindle a sense of community and celebration, making the Firefly Event Center a beacon of entertainment and joy in the heart of the city.

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