(PRESS RELEASE) A concrete-breaking ceremony at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23 will mark the beginning of interior renovation of the historic Queen Theatre in Downtown Bryan. Local contractors involved in the first phase of construction will be joined by members of the Downtown Bryan Association Board of Trustees to mark the occasion.
Originally built as a hotel in 1884, the structure at 110 S. Main St. was converted to a movie theatre in 1914. In 1939, owner Edna Schulman commissioned a major renovation of the building, which included a facade in the Streamline Moderne style of architecture. The theatre was shuttered in the early 1970's. The Queen was purchased by the Downtown Bryan Association (DBA) in 2010 after sitting vacant for decades. Its exterior was restored in 2011 after a fundraising effort secured the funds to complete the first phase of the project.
Once fully restored, the new Queen will have both a screen and a stage allowing for cinema and live performances. The facility will be suitable for a variety of uses, including weddings, receptions, conferences, dinner theater, film screenings, and much more. The building will have four floors that will include the main lobby, a catering kitchen, balcony seating, and the offices of the Downtown Bryan Association.
The DBA, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, will continue seeking financial assistance to complete the renovation.
"We have been pleased at the interest in this project from local contractors and businesses. Many of them are offering their assistance as in-kind donations, which reduces the amount of fundraising we must do to complete the Queen's interior," said DBA Board Chairman Ben Hardeman.