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Sunnyside Theater Opens in Downtown Roseburg

12:11 AM · Jul 29, 2021

Sunnyside Theater recently opened as a new music venue in downtown Roseburg. The theater opened on July 1 with an open mic night which has become a regular Thursday event. One of the three owners, Dan Thomas, said people who come to perform at the weekly event have gotten more comfortable. “The whole vision for Sunnyside was to have a spot for artists where they’re the focal point and we’re doing everything we can to help them shine and really give them a safe place where they feel comfortable kind of breaking out of their shell,” Thomas said. “We just want a place where we can showcase everyone’s talent out there in a perfect way.” The room is lively on a Thursday night. And after a year and a half in different phases of pandemic lockdowns, it feels refreshingly normal in a brand new space. The owners started working on the building in September of 2019. “[Covid-19] made it really hard,” Lu Harlow said. “Trying to build out and trying to figure out when to open was really difficult. There were definitely hardships to get to the opening, so we’re really happy that it’s finally here.” The theater has been a lot of things over the years, including a photography studio and Champman’s Pharmacy 50 years ago, but when Dan Thomas, Lu Harlow, and Kevin Upright decided to make the space a music venue, it was a barren, plastered, open room. “There were no bathrooms in here, there was no stage,” Harlow said. “It was just four walls. There was a whole hallway right here full of shelves and that was about it. The building has had a lot of history that the owners want to share that history and the history of music in Roseburg. They mentioned famous musicians coming through town in the past, like Johnny Cash. “We want to share that love of art with another younger generation and keep that culture going where it’s something important in the culture and important in our lives,” Harlow said. The owners also perform together, but are putting it on hold while they get the theater running. “We’re happy supporting other people’s passions,” Harlow said. “It’s really cool seeing people come in here and really feel the love, like, you can tell how appreciated they feel and it makes you feel really good.” The Sunnyside is located at 663 SE Jackson St in Downtown Roseburg.

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