Kilgore, TX — City awaits proposals for historic theaters
By JAMES DRAPER | Published by the Kilgore News Herald
April 3, 2013
If you fix it, they will come – that’s the latest mantra at City Hall, angling to recruit developers with plans for the renovation of two historic buildings downtown.
Wasting away, all-but abandoned, for decades the Crim and Texan Theaters have been used, primarily, as storage buildings. But for façade restorations by the Kilgore Historical Preservation Foundation in the ‘90s and maintenance by the City of Kilgore in recent years, the two buildings would be in an even worse state.
With steadily-increasing awareness and activity in and around the theaters in the past year, as well as new entertainment-oriented guidelines recently put in place, the city’s Web site today carries two Requests for Proposals: would-be developers have two weeks to make their cases for turning the two old theaters into viable venues.
The Crim Theater originally seated just fewer than 1,000 people – one plan discussed by city officials would transform the decrepit building into a performing arts center that could house the Texas Shakespeare Festival year-round as well as other events.
“This is in response to recent activity in both theaters, which was meant to raise awareness for both theaters, as well as inquiries from local, interested parties,” Kilgore City Manager Scott Sellers explained.
Last March, a start-up committee including representatives from the city, Kilgore Historical Preservation Foundation, Kilgore Economic Development Corporation, the Main Street Advisory Board and the Texas Shakespeare Festival toured both theaters with an eye for what they are – rundown – and what they could be. (Click here to read the entire article.)