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Dinner, theatre and a bowling ball

Soon enough Mid County folks could snag dinner or drinks, a theatre show and some bowling all in one spot.

Port Arthur Little Theatre (PALT) is teaming up with Max Bowl Port Arthur to reintroduce its dinner theatre program to the community. It will also debut a series of more mature shows to draw in a different audience.

“It’s a great opportunity for us because it brings in people who normally wouldn’t come into the facility,” Max Bowl manager Debbie Schimkowitsch said.

PALT board member Nikki Turner said it was a great way to get more of the arts into the local community, especially since PALT has not held a dinner theatre in Port Arthur for years.

“We’ve done various ones for organizations like CASA,” Turner said. “But it’s been awhile since we’ve had one in Port Arthur.”

According to Turner, a dinner theatre allows audience members to have a unique experience when they go to the show.

“Normally, dinner shows are murder mysteries and interactive shows. This lends an overly fun element to theatre where participants can solve the mystery,” Turner said.

Schimkowitsch said the room PALT will use is what used to be the bingo hall in the bowling alley, an 8,000-square-foot room.

“It’s enormous…” she said. “Normally, we rent it out for weddings, birthdays and local graduations, but we’re trying to get away from the wedding venue right now.”

Turner has been a champion, along with fellow board member Jeff Courts, in bringing the program back to the city.

“I’m really excited about this,” Turner said. “I’ve done a few dinner shows with Port Arthur Little Theatre for different organizations, and they’ve been a lot of fun to perform in.”

Turner said PALT had found a mutually beneficial location in the form of Max Bowl because it helps keep money within the community.

“And that’s what we want — to support our local businesses and artists and give the kids something to do,” Turner said. “So, I’m really excited to be able to bring this and offer it to the community.”

In November, PALT will produce its first to-be-announced dinner theatre show at Max Bowl.

However, in October, PALT will debut its first off-season show at Max Bowl. It will be “Let the Right One In,” directed by Courts and intended for its After Dark line of productions.

PALT After Dark will be a series of off-season shows such as “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “The Evil Dead” which would be intended for more mature audiences.

“They will not be dinner shows. Most of the shows will be R-rated shows,” Turner said.

In addition to its more adult flavor, After Dark shows will feature a cash bar courtesy of Max Bowl.

“Let the Right One In” runs Oct. 26 and 27 and Nov. 2 and 3. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to the theatre’s site at

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