Dance hall weekends coming back to Oplin

OPLIN, Texas (KTAB) - For six months, the Grand Ole Oplin has been quiet. The final dance was held on New Year's, and it's been empty ever since. But now some new life is being injected into the old Oplin High School building, and music will fill the hall this Friday night.

The decades of history behind the dances are a large part of why it's back in action. Phil Rockett has spearheaded the resurrection of the hall.

The Oplin Community Center was built in 1938, and has been hosting dances for several decades. Rockett looks back on the history: "Thousands and thousands of people have danced in this dance hall. Thousands of people have had their first date in this dance hall. Thousands of people have gotten engaged in this dance hall. So it's very historic, it's been around for a long time."

The former Grand Ole Oplin has been renamed the Oplin Dancehall with this new change in management. And despite some changes, the things that made the original so successful are staying the same.

Phil's son, Colton says, "It's kind of a tradition. Smoke and alcohol free, just real family friendly environment, and that's kind of the tradition. That was always the draw for me and my family. It was just a good fun place to go."

The changes are highlighted by a new sound system and overhauled playlist of over one thousand songs. Those changes helping to appeal to regulars, and a new generation.

Cameron Rockett is the "self-appointed DJ", and says that many younger people have expressed an interest in dancing at Oplin. He says, "When we opened the page up, and first let everyone know, there were posts talking about how kids, every Friday night, were asking, 'Hey, can we go to Oplin?' and these families would have to tell their kids, 'No'. So now they have the opportunity to come not only on Friday night, but Saturday night, too."

Dancing lessons on Saturdays will help people to polish their dancing skills, and the future holds the potential for live music and cookouts, and some other surprises that are still in the works.

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