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Pioneer Playhouse in Danville will be featured on “Dateline” tonight

If you’re from Danville, or have simply just visited, you probably have heard of Pioneer Playhouse. Kentucky’s oldest outdoor theater has been entertaining fans for over 70 years, and tonight, will be featured on “Dateline” on NBC.

Heather and Robby Henson, the children of the founder Eben Henson, now run the theater, which features indoor and outdoor shows from June through August. In the clip below, the Hensons take viewers on a tour of the campus, which includes part of the set from “Raintree County,” a movie featuring Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift that was filmed in Danville in the 1950s.

A Postcard from the Field: Pioneer Playhouse

This Friday's all-new 2-hour Dateline at 9/8c took us to Danville, Kentucky, where we came across one of the nation's oldest outdoor theaters, the Pioneer Playhouse.

Posted by Dateline NBC on Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Hopefully the full segment talks about the Pioneer Playhouse’s famous alumni, like John Travolta, who performed there as a 15-year-old, Lee Majors, Bo Hopkins, Jim Varney, and local favorites like Lee Cruse and Radio Ron.

“Dateline” airs tonight on NBC at 9 p.m. ET.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

4 Comments for Pioneer Playhouse in Danville will be featured on “Dateline” tonight



  1. yoshukai
    11:02 am April 24, 2020 Permalink

    We had my daughters wedding reception at Pioneer Playhouse. Love the place !



  2. Realme
    11:07 am April 24, 2020 Permalink

    Um was there a murder there?



    • UKCatAttack
      1:34 pm April 24, 2020 Permalink

      I was wondering the same thing. Dateline usually has the creepy serial killer or spouse killer stories.



  3. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
    1:15 pm April 24, 2020 Permalink

    Wow, I’m pretty sure I went to a play there when I was a kid! It was a production of Peter Pan, and it was definitely an outdoor theater. The only thing I remember for sure, other than it being outdoors, was wondering why a girl was playing Peter Pan. Then I learned that Sandy Duncan had played him on Broadway.

    Anyway, awesome history, and I LOVE the Jerry’s Restaurant sign there at the end! I loved that place, and the sign with Jerry pictured on it, when I was a kid. #WalkDownAmnesiaLane