Prattville – Hollywood stuntman, actor, and director Hiro Koda realized one of his dreams yesterday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to signify the opening of his new establishment, Club Behind the Scenes (BTS), located on Cobbs Ford Road.
Richard Ray, Chamber of Commerce Chairman, was on hand for the event and spoke about Koda, a fourth degree black belt in Karate.
“On the way, I was thinking that the first thing I should do when I get here … I was going to pick a fight with Mr. Koda,” Ray said laughingly. “And then I look around at some of the pictures on the wall here and I thought I would postpone that for a while.”
Movie memorabilia, plaques, and costumes that Koda has worn in films are on display inside Club BTS.
Ray continued by welcoming Koda to Prattville and introduced him to the small crowd that had gathered for the ceremony. Koda also thanked everyone for coming and discussed his life in Los Angeles.
“I’m currently working on a film called The Green Hornet … those are the most recent photos on the wall,” said Koda. “We’d just started shooting that when I got the call. With everything that’s been happening, I had to take off. They weren’t very happy because they were looking for me on the set.”
“But my life has been all about doing stunts and directing and making films. That’s been my whole passion for almost twenty years.”
Prattville Mayor Jim Byard Jr. cut the ribbon and stated that it was great to welcome a new business to the community.
The operation of Club BTS is definitely a family affair. Bobby Cox will be managing Club BTS since his younger brother still lives in Los Angeles.
“If you’ve got an opportunity to work with your younger brother, don’t do it,” Cox joked. “It has been quite an experience getting ready to open, but the tough part is coming up with everything living up to its expectations.”
The road to launching his business has been a bumpy one for Koda as the Prattville City Council voted down his request to obtain a lounge liquor license on August 29. As a result of a lawsuit filed by Koda against the city, the ruling was overturned on September 23.
Gwen Koda, the owner’s mother, is proud that her son has had the tenacity to make one of his aspirations come true.
“We’ve just been through a lot to get it going,” she said. “Hiro’s been talking about it for a long time and I’m glad it’s finally going to happen for him.”
The club/restaurant is set to open to the public on Sunday.
Article by Melissa Parker
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