Society & Culture

WUGA-TV chronicles Georgia Theater reopening with half-hour documentary

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia’s television station, WUGA-TV, will chronicle the rebirth and reopening of the Georgia Theater in a half-hour documentary titled The Magic and the Music Are Back! Reflections on the Reopening of the Georgia Theater, which will air Tuesday, July 26, at 9 p.m.

The program will rebroadcast on July 28 at 9 p.m., July 30 at 8:30 p.m., July 31 at 6:30 p.m., and Aug. 1 at 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. WUGA-TV airs on Channel 32 and is carried on all cable systems throughout 17 counties in Northeast Georgia.For cable listings, see

More than two years ago, the legendary theater, stage to such notable musicians as R.E.M., Sea Level, the B-52s, The Dave Matthews Band, B.B. King, David Alan Coe, the Kinchafoonee Cowboys and Widespread Panic, was engulfed in flames that left nothing more than a charred shell of its historic structure. After an outpouring of community support and a massive rebuilding project, the famed performance venue will host a variety of grand reopening celebrations and performances in August.

During the program, WUGA-TV host Charlie McAlexander will provide a nostalgic look at the rebuilt theater, interviewing such guests as keyboardist Chuck Leavell, who has performed with The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and the Allman Brothers.In addition, Georgia Theater owner Wilmot Green will share his two-year journey to restore the music venue, along with his plans for the future.

“The fire may have destroyed its structure, but it certainly didn’t scar its spirit,” said McAlexander, who has a music and broadcasting career spanning almost 40 years.“Prior to the grand reopening, our viewers will get an exclusive sneak preview of what’s gone into this massive rebuilding project, and they’ll learn about all the new features of the theater.”

McAlexander added that the documentary will allow viewers to gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the important role the Georgia Theater has played in the local music industry and business community.“Athens is known as a national and even international music mecca,” he said. “It is a privilege to share with our viewers how one of its biggest influences has literally risen from its proverbial ashes.”

Production of The Magic and the Music are Back! was provided by graduates and students from the mass media arts program in UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, under the direction of James Biddle, a professor in the same program. “Because of the caliber of instruction and curriculum our students receive in the Grady College, we turn out professionals who create outstanding work,” said Biddle.“I was proud to work side-by-side on this project with these production professionals.”

WUGA-TV, a partnership between the University of Georgia and Georgia Public Broadcasting, provides quality television programming to viewers in Northeast Georgia.Utilizing the resources of the WORLD network and local programming, the station airs documentaries, musical performances, news/public affairs shows and more. Funding for local programming on WUGA-TV is provided through underwriting partnerships. For more information, see