Queen Theatre Shining Again in Downtown Bryan

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The Crown Jewel of historic Downtown Bryan is shining brightly once again.

The Queen Theatre was lit Friday night after a long hiatus, all to kick off this weekend's Texas Reds Festival.

History is coming alive again in Downtown Bryan at the fifth annual Texas Reds Steak and Grape Festival.

Folks waited in anticipation as The Queen Theatre's new neon lights, sign, marquee and 200 pound crown were restored to their full glory.

Lifelong Bryan native Myrl Sims saw it light up for the first time in 1939.

"I can remember hanging on my daddy's hand as they lit it the first time very exciting of course. The street didn't look quite the same but it was a big event for the city," she said.

In the past few months the Queen Theatre underwent a $160,000 renovation to the exterior, got a new roof, and asbestos abatement on the inside.

"Well I think it's very similar but who knows, that's a while ago," Sims said.

Others like Mike Young hung out at the Queen and Palace Theatres as a child in the 60's and saw "Cleopatra" here.

"It' really interesting because downtown had almost died and it's really nice to see the way it has come back," said Young, another Bryan resident.

It's hard not to miss it now; the Queen has regained her stately status.

The Queen will be lit each night from dusk until 11 P.M.

And the crown will start spinning each morning around 7.

The rest of the renovations are expected to be completed by 2014 to coincide with the building's 100th anniversary.

While it won't be an outright movie theater, it will be a multipurpose facility for the community complete with a theater