By Pam Robinson
For the past four years, Robin Risley has wooed clients with the romance of New Harmony. Her business, Events of Harmony, has provided wedding and special event rentals, decorating and coordinating services for clients throughout the Tri-State. She hosted 60 events within her first year of business alone.
“We’re too big to be little anymore,” says Risley, who previously owned Illusions Bridal, the largest bridal shop in the state of Indiana, for 16 years in Vincennes.
Until now, she has met clients in office space on Church Street in New Harmony and has stored her props in three separate warehouses. Now, she can locate everything under one roof at the corner of Main and Tavern streets. She has leased the entire first floor complex in the building that once housed Harmonie Haus Cinema.
Just this past Friday night, she met guests at her grand opening and led tours to show off her renovated surroundings at 515 Main Street. The bright pink cinema lobby has been transformed into an elegant reception area, where neutral-colored walls are dressed with paintings of brides and bridal flowers. A number of tables and chairs will allow for private party rental or even catered rehearsal dinners in this front section as well.
Originally, the building provided two theaters, one seating 54 and another seating nearly 90. Risley is using the smaller of the two theaters for storage and work space and has equipped the larger theater with a stage located directly in front of the big screen. Known as “Stage Left,” the larger theater will seat 81 guests now and is the perfect venue for small concerts or screenings where clients bring their own DVD’s to entertain a small group.
This coming Saturday, Feb. 2, Emily and Al Cantrell will hold the inaugural paid concert in Stage Left and showcase their bluegrass and Celtic music. Tickets may be purchased for $10 per person at the door.
Her own stage notwithstanding, Risley promotes New Harmony’s Under the Beam concerts as well. Indeed, she is appreciative not only of the musical talent brought to New Harmony, but also of such fine venues for events as the Rapp-Owen Granary and the New Harmony Inn conference center. She knows to count on the excellence of New Harmony’s restaurants and quaint guest houses and bed and breakfast as well. Risley believes a horse and carriage ride through town will allow visitors to share in the romance of the town, seeing it offers a little of everything for weddings and special events.
“Everyone hated to see the cinema close, but New Harmony just can’t afford to do things the Hollywood way,” Risley comments. “I’m happy the cinema can still be used for the community, especially the kids.”
Risley envisions her business creating an “active corner,” especially during the summer, where families and teens can enjoy special gatherings. She encourages New Harmony residents to share their ideas for community use of the space at Events of Harmony by calling her at 682-3310.
She is looking forward, for example, to Tuxedo Night when guys can rent their tuxedos for prom. The evening will include refreshments and fittings, complete with on-site alterations for tuxes. Risley is proud to offer tuxedos from Jim’s Formalwear, the number one company of its kind in America.
In the meantime, Events of Harmony will be open by appointment with a call to Robin Risley at 682-3310, a number she checks regularly for messages.
By Pam Robinson
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