Thursday, July 29, 2010
Ridglea Theater in Fort Worth may have hope yet
The Ridglea’s too significant a building complex to be demolished for a generic drive-through BoA branch.
The Ridglea Theater is still more-or-less where we left it last time – the threat of demolition hanging over it, with Bank of America looking at demolishing almost the entire structure to build a drive-through bank branch. Councilman Zimmerman still refuses to try to get the building designated historic (and when even Chuck Silcox said it should be designated and the current councilman won’t, that’s not a good sign), and preservation groups including Historic Fort Worth are still arguing for the complex’s significance.
There may be a faint glimmer of hope if the events in this recent DFW.com article are to be believed. Quoth the article:
I met with Levi Weaver yesterday, a stone’s throw from the Ridglea itself. He just might change everything — Weaver is a third party with no business ties to FixFunding or Bank of America or even the Ridglea’s current tenants (Richard Van Zandt and Wesley Hathaway).
A Fort Worth native, who got married at the Ridglea three years ago (he and his wife draped white linens over much of the main space to class up the joint), Weaver has an interesting proposal that would pull him and his family away from their current home in Nashville. Weaver, a musician, wants to buy the building, with help from investors, and reclaim it as an art house movie theater, as well as a part-time music venue. Think booking bands like the Granada in a space that also shows flicks suitable for the Angelika, but with the capability to host weddings or graduations or corporate functions or even theater performances.
The Ridglea’s too significant a building complex to be demolished for a generic drive-through BoA branch hiding behind the shell of its grand entrance. Needless to say, I don’t agree with Councilman Zimmerman that the BoA proposal is “progress.” Let’s hope Mr. Weaver can pull this off. Check out the whole article.
Meanwhile, this evening is Historic Fort Worth’s tour of the Ridglea at 5:30 p.m. The tour is free for Historic Fort Worth members, and guests are $10. From Historic Fort Worth:
Don’t miss this chance to see the interior of this iconic theater, one of the last single screen theaters in Fort Worth. Architect John Roberts will lead the tour and the current tenants, Wesley Hathaway and Richard Van Zandt, will answer questions. Beer and wine will be for sale at the concession stand.
This would be a great chance to see the Ridglea’s beautiful original features, including intricate terrazzo floors and elaborate murals – most or all of which would be lost if the current plans to tear down all but the entrance for a Bank of America drive-through branch are carried out. Again, the tour is at 5:30 – you can RSVP to Corry Smith at 817-336-2344 x100 or Corry_Smith@historicfortworth.org.
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