(888) 785-4500

Open: Monday-Friday 10:00am-4:00pm,
Saturday 10:00am-3:00pm
Sundays: TCHCC events and special arrangement only

SANFORD SCHMID AMPHITHEATRE and CONCESSION


Sanford Schmid Amphitheatre


Concession & Restrooms

Construction on the TCHCC Amphitheater was begun in 2000, with groundbreaking ceremonies held on April 8, 2000. The approximately 5,500 sq. ft. facility is built in a Texas-Czech style and includes an open stage, two dressing rooms and restrooms, and two prop storage rooms with stadium seating for 400. Additional seating of 300 is possible on the ground behind the permanent seats. The large stage can accommodate a large group performance. Nestled in a cove on a high hill overlooking the Colorado River, the amphitheater is the first outdoor performance facility built on the Lower Colorado River. Instituted with seed money from the LCRA in 1998, the amphitheater is available for concerts, plays and other productions by community groups, touring shows or foreign exchange performances. Performances are open to any qualified group and are not limited to those with a Czech theme.

A matching gift of $206,000 from Sanford Schmid of LaGrange fulfilled the matching requirements of the Lower Colorado River Authority of a $200,000 grant, restricted to the amphitheater. “Sanford Schmid’s gift set the pace for leadership giving in our capital campaign,” said Retta Slavik Chandler, president of the TCHCC. “We are most grateful for his involvement and support. “His generosity will serve as an example for donors throughout Fayette County and the state.” This generous first gift resulted in a successful capital campaign followed by contributions from Union Pacific Railroad, the heirs of the Leo A. Legler Estate, and many donors from all parts of the state. The cost of the amphitheater was approximately $800,000.00.

“As a citizen of Fayette County and as a Texan of Czech ancestry, my objective in making this donation is to preserve our heritage,” said Schmid. “Our rural heritage is fading away; this project will save it for future generations. The amphitheater itself will be a great addition to our community, the setting of many enjoyable events and performances in the years ahead.

Schmid traces his Czech ancestry to Tobias and Helena Kovar Dockal from Sloupnice, Cechie, who arrived in Galveston in 1870. Born in Austin County, Sanford Schmid graduated from Fayetteville High School. Growing up, he lived in the Industry area at Das Haus, the home of his great-great grandfather Dr. Ernst Witte. Donated by Sanford Schmid and his mother, Annie Schmid, Das Haus is now preserved by the Texas German Society.

The amphitheater was dedicated on November 1, 2003 at 11:00 am with remarks by special guest, Dr. Ivo Broskevic, Czech Cultural Attaché of the Czech Embassy in Washington, Honorary Czech Consul of Texas, Raymond Snokhous, Ed Janecka, Fayette County Judge, Sanford Schmid, and Retta Chandler. At 1:00 pm, a spectacular performance by the Dvorana Dance Group with 36 dancers from the Czech Republic delighted an appreciative audience.

In addition to his interest in historic preservation, Sanford Schmid has been active in other civic affairs. In 1959 he served in the Texas Legislature as a representative of District 45. He continues to support numerous projects in Fayette including the continued progress of TCHCC.

The TCHCC amphitheater was designed by architect Barry Moore, FAIA, president of SJKB, a Houston- based theater architecture and consulting firm and constructed by Bohlmann, Incorporated of Schulenburg, Texas.

In 2004, a capital campaign was initiated to build a concession area with restrooms at the entrance to the amphitheater. Designed by Roger Kolar of Negrete & Kolar Architects of Austin, Texas, it was built by Minarcik Construction Company of LaGrange, Texas.

The Czech saying "Muziky, Muziky" adorns the top center of the Sanford Schmid Stage of the TCHCC Amphitheater. There are approximately 400 theater-style seats that have armrests and can be folded up for easy access; the seat rows are staggered to provide optimum viewing. Handicapped seating areas are also provided.

 

Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center
P.O. Box 6 - 250 West Fairgrounds Road, La Grange, Texas 78945

(888) 785-4500  or (979) 968-9399

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