CLARENDON, TX (KFDA) - An entertainment staple of downtown Clarendon, the Mulkey Theatre stood proud for 40 years before closing and sitting empty for another 30. Now, it will soon reopen, bringing new entertainment and life to the heart of the city.
"The Mulkey Theatre project is now in its final phase of completion,” said Roger Estlack with the Clarendon Economic Development Corporation. "That includes projection equipment, sound equipment, stage lighting and auditorium seating."
The estimated $1 million in renovations came from grants, donations and some local tax funds.
The theatre has now debuted a new "Take Your Seat" campaign to give locals a chance to sponsor that new auditorium seating, helping to provide some additional funds to the renovation efforts.
"The idea is for $100, you can sponsor one of the seats on the main floor auditorium and we will put on the back of it the name of yourself or a loved one or a company name and it's kind of a neat way to get your name in the theatre permanently and be a part of this historic project,” said Estlack.
To sponsor one of the 204 seats in the theatre and get your name on it, you can call 806-874-2421 or mail a donation to the Clarendon Community Fund at Box 906, Clarendon, TX, 79226.
The theatre will serve as a multi-purpose venue, offering up new movie releases, as well as a venue for concerts, plays, meetings and more. Those involved say the community has been supportive of the ongoing renovations.
"It is great that we will finally be able to come watch a movie in here after all that work from a lot of people in town and people from out of town,” said Bob Weiss with the Clarendon Chamber of Commerce. “We've gotten support from all over the place."
As for the potential economic boost for the city, they say getting people downtown is a good thing.
"With the theatre opening, if more people are downtown, hopefully we can get more restaurants, opened up and maybe a couple other activities downtown that people can do and make use of,” said Weiss.
"The more people that we can bring to downtown, the better it is for our economy,” said Estlack.
After 10 years of this project, the city is excited for it to be complete.
"We're ready to sit down with a bucket of popcorn and watch a movie and kick our heels up,” said Estlack.
There’s not a set opening date just yet, but the Clarendon EDC hopes to have the Mulkey open to the public by spring, with a grand opening to go along with it.