Great Passion Play closes, foreclosure coming

Christ of the Ozarks statue

Photo: fallsroad, Flickr (CC 2.0)

The Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs has closed and is up for sale, the Lovely County Citizen reports.

Despite a call for donations two months ago, the nonprofit Elna Smith Foundation, which owns the play and the surrounding property, did not receive enough money to reopen for the 2013 season.

The iconic Christ of the Ozarks statue is also part of the sale. It had been lighted at night for years, but now stands in darkness after sundown.

Also on the grounds is the New Holy Land Tour, a full-scale re-creation of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, a section of the Berlin Wall, a Museum of Earth History, and The Bible Museum which contains over 10,000 bibles in 625 languages and dialects.

The 44-year-old play, which had a cast of over 150 local residents, suffered a dip in attendance beginning in 2008.

From the story:

One employee told the Lovely County Citizen that the largest attendance the GPP enjoyed in 2012 was about 1,000 people in one night over War Eagle Fair weekend; a few years ago, explained Ezra Hodgson, who worked sound for the play, attendance of 3,000 was routine, nearly filling up the venue’s 4,000 seats.

The foreclosed is being handled by Cornerstone Bank in Eureka Springs.