‘The thrill of live performance’ lured new executive director of Holmes Theater to Detroit Lakes – Detroit Lakes Tribune


DETROIT LAKES – The historic Holmes Theater is under new management as it enters its 20th season of bringing the arts to residents of the Lake District.

Iowa native Rustin Lippincott took the reins as executive director of the Holmes Theater on August 1. He succeeded Amy Stoller Stearns, who had held the position since 2003.

Elle LaMere, left, and Rustin Lippincott are the new marketing director and executive director, respectively, of the Historic Holmes Theater in Detroit Lakes. LaMere is a Minnesota native who worked in marketing in San Diego, Calif., while Lippincott recently moved to Minnesota from Great Falls, Mont., where he served as the Central Montana Tourism Region Manager. .

Vicki Gerdes / Detroit Lakes Tribune

It’s a time of change for the Historic Holmes Theater in more ways than one, as the theater is in the final stages of a $1.2 million facelift of its ballroom and surrounding spaces. When complete, the theater will share a lobby with the new Becker County Museum, which is being built next door.

“It’s an exciting time for the Holmes,” said Stearns, who helped Lippincott through the transition.

A native of Fort Madison, Iowa, Lippincott spent 14 years as executive director of the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center, the Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts, and the Fairfield Convention and Visitors Bureau in Fairfield, Iowa, from 2007 to 2020.

For the past two years, he has resided in Great Falls, Montana, where he served as director of the Central Montana Tourism Region.

“I realized that I really miss the thrill of live performance,” he said. “So when I found out about the opening here, I applied.”

He was called in for an interview in June, “and two months later I’m moving here and starting a job at the theatre.”

Although he is no longer married, Lippincott has a 23-year-old daughter who plans to visit her new home in Detroit Lakes around the end of August.

LaMere returned to Minnesota to be closer to his family

Rustin Lippincott isn’t the only new face behind the scenes at The Holmes this month: Elle LaMere became the theatre’s new marketing director on August 8, succeeding Rachel Hofstrand.

Ice cream cones.jpg
Elle LaMere of the Historic Holmes Theater, left, and Rustin Lippincott got into the summer spirit earlier this month by picking up ice cream cones at Hub 41 in Detroit Lakes.

Contributed / Historic Holmes Theater

Originally from the Twin Cities, LaMere returned to her home country to be closer to her family, having lived in San Diego, California for the past few years.

After graduating from high school in south Minneapolis, LaMere went to college at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but eventually moved back home to complete her studies at the University of Minnesota.

It was through the U of M that LaMere had the chance to study abroad for a month in Bangalore, India, and after finishing there she spent the next two months traveling the backpacking Europe before returning to Minnesota to complete his studies.

“I have a degree in environmental science,” she said, adding that she initially went into education, although she also worked as a nanny to pay off a part of his university debt.

It was through the latter that she met the woman who would steer her career in a new direction.

“I was his baby girl’s nanny,” LaMere said. “She was starting a new business and needed someone in charge of marketing and social media.”

Although she started out as an intern, LaMere moved into a full-time role with the company a year later. “I learned everything I know about marketing there,” she said.

Although she loved living and working in San Diego, LaMere’s roots were in Minnesota, so when she saw a position opening up at Holmes, she applied.

Although she never lived in Detroit Lakes, LaMere was an occasional visitor to the community during her younger years, as her grandparents lived nearby.

“I remember coming to The Holmes to see my grandfather sing with Heart O’Lakes Harmony,” she said. “I came here (to Detroit Lakes) a lot when I was a kid.

“I live in Osage right now,” she said, adding that she had moved in with her grandmother so she could spend more time with her, but was eventually considering finding somewhere a little closer to her. work.

Open house and tribute to Bobby Vee on August 25

Holmes Theater patrons will get a chance to get a glimpse of some of the improvements to the ballroom on Thursday, August 25, when the theater hosts an open house there for Lippincott at 6:30 p.m.

Lippincott’s reception will precede the final show of the theater’s summer season, “Remembering Bobby Vee,” which begins at 7:30 p.m.

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Bobby Vee, pictured in 1964, was still in high school when he got his big break in 1959. He took the stage at the Detroit Lakes Pavilion several times during his career. He died in 2016; select members of his family, playing The Killer Vees, will perform a tribute show, “Remembering Bobby Vee,” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 25 at the historic Holmes Theater in Detroit Lakes.

Detroit Lakes Tribune File Photo

Known in the music world as the “rhythm section of the stars,” Jeff and Tommy Vee have been playing doghouse drums and bass respectively for over 30 years, with resumes far too long to list.

In 2008, they teamed up with their cousin Matt Vee and his talented wife Julie to form “The Killer Vees”. Matt, an accomplished performer in his own right, also toured nationally and internationally with Bobby Vee and others of the ’60s era and spent 13 years as guitarist and vocalist to Midwest favorite Johnny Holms. Rounding out the band’s current lineup is Bobby Vee’s grandson, Bennett Vee, on lead guitar.

“Remembering Bobby Vee” will feature videos and stories from Bobby’s career, as well as all of his greatest hits. Tickets for the show are on sale at the theater box office (806 Summit Ave.), online at dlccc.org/holmes-theatre.html or by phone at 218-844-7469. Season passes and individual show tickets for the Holmes Theater 20th anniversary season are also on sale there now.

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