BRYAN- The Queen Theatre in Downtown Bryan may have gotten a facelift on the outside, but there is still plenty of work to be done. Thursday morning marked the beginning of the renovation inside the theatre.
Bryan architect Jim Singleton's firm is one of three companies donating their efforts to breathe new life into the Queen.
"I think this is the heartbeat of downtown Bryan," Singleton said. "It's wonderful."
He has fond memories of the Queen and wants to help make new ones.
"I used to come to the Queen Theatre when I was a student and I realize that this is an icon and it's very important to the city," he said.
So important, it has even been the place many have professed their love to their significant other. According to Singleton, revitalizing the theatre keeps the tradition alive. Of course, it comes with a cost. Three hundred thousand dollars has already been contributed to the project, but more donations are needed. The Downtown Bryan Association expects the whole renovation to cost about one million dollars.
"It's just overwhelming - the level of support we have from the community; not only the contractors and suppliers, but the donations from the community and the labor from the community," said Ben Hardeman from the Downtown Bryan Association.
Hardeman said it was vital to renovate the Queen in order to improve the city.
"It was so rotten from holes in the roof that there were mushrooms growing out of the lumber in the balcony," he said. "The theatre seating was falling through the floor under its own weight and we knew we had a major project ahead of us."
The Downtown Bryan Association hopes the project will be completed by November. That would be the 130th anniversary of the building's construction and the 75th anniversary of it taking the "Queen Theatre" name.
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