Every Friday night, from the stage of the historic Rex Theater in the City of Galax, WBRF FM sends out 100,000 watts of live old time and bluegrass music into five states and around the globe via the internet. The show is called Blue Ridge Backroads Live and thanks to a faithful group of volunteers, it has become the cornerstone for the revitalization of this 70-year-old theater.
Owned and operated by the City of Galax, The Rex continues to expand its offerings with vintage movie nights, Saturday concerts and community plays. The Rex is also available for special events and many non-profit groups have found it's a great venue for community oriented fundraising.
Historically important and a designated landmark on the Crooked Road, The Rex remains the jewel in the crown of the City of Galax.
Located in Historic Downtown Galax, The Rex Theater was built in 1939 and was a vibrant movie theater for approximately 44 years.
Around 1983, The Rex Theater closed its doors and remained vacant for about a decade. In 1993, The Rex Theater began its rebirth when the Galax Downtown Merchants Association purchased the building at auction. Volunteers spent untold hours cleaning and repairing the structure in hopes that it would play a pivotal role in downtown renewal and create a venue for community activity. After hosting monthly mountain music jams for a year, it again closed its doors.
In 1999, the City of Galax Tourism Department and the Downtown Association teamed up with FM radio station WBRF to begin broadcasting a weekly live radio show from the stage of The Rex. The program became know as "Blue Ridge Backroads Live".
The City of Galax acquired The Rex Theater in 2005 and it continues to thrive through the efforts of community volunteers and musicians. Blue Ridge Backroads Live remains unique and has been tagged as one of only three such live broadcasts in the country, and possibly the only FM 100,000 watt live broadcast of mountain music.
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