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Visions of the Future for The Texas Theatre
"Are you going to show old movies?" That's the most frequently asked question about how the Seguin Conservation Society plans to use the Texas Theatre once it's open. The answer is yes.... and so much more!
The eight-member Texas Theatre Task Force spent more than 3 years on market research, learning from the experiences of other small cities with historic downtown theaters. The assistance of the non-profit League of Historic American Theaters was invaluable, because they matched us with towns the same size as Seguin that had theaters the same size as The Texas.
From the Majestic Theater, built in 1852 in Chillicothe OH, we learned that they weren't successful with old movies and community productions alone. They needed more flexible uses to make the theater become the town’s "front porch." The Liberty Theater in Eunice LA broadcasts Cajun dance music over the Internet every Saturday night. The Sheldon Theatre in Red Wing MN offers 7 different programming styles; traveling variety shows, chamber music, disco dance parties for teens, classic films, storytelling, and a "Hometown Showcase" series for local community productions and talent recitals.
The task force also interviewed more than 40 local community organizations and arts leaders on their needs and potential uses of The Texas. Then, through the leadership of TLU, we stepped up to the next level of technology – to add the capability of spreading The Texas "brand" far beyond Seguin and Bexar, Comal, and Guadalupe counties by video-streaming into living rooms world wide.
With flexible seating and staging, The Texas will be able to re-configure its space to host dances, reunions, wedding receptions and fashion shows, in addition to the traditional seats-in-a-row performances. Imagine:
- Six weekends a year - TLU student-managed productions and films. Throughout the year, student interns learn important venue-management skills, both administrative and technical.
- Six film festivals a year - western, Spanish language, classic, horror, and original films. And during Pecan Fest, we'll show "nutty" films, of course.
- One weekend every month – live music as a Texas dance hall.
- Saturday matinees with family entertainment for kids of all ages.
- Seguin Art Center's fine stage productions.
- Teatro des Artes de Juan Seguin shows and competitions.
- Mid-Texas Symphony chamber music and ensemble performances.
At most events, a new concession stand will generate considerable portion of the operating revenue and a $1 per person Preservation Fee will help fund on-going maintenance and build an endowment for The Texas. To run the theater, our plans call for a full-time executive director, part-time custodial staff and lots of volunteers - maybe you’re one of them!
With our proximity to Austin's live music and film scene, our long history of Hollywood connections to The Texas, and the creativity and energy of the people of Seguin - the possibilities are limitless. Best of all, The Texas will once again be Seguin's "front porch."
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