Owner Complications Stand in the Way of Waco's Historic 25th Str - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


Owner Complications Stand in the Way of Waco's Historic 25th Street Theatre


Waco's historic 25th Street Theatre has future plans in place, but only if one issue gets cleared up soon. 

The theatre was built in the mid 1940's and was the premier movie venue in Waco, and now it has certainly seen better days.

Today, the theatre stands alone and abandoned. In the 1980's, it was turned into a dance club, then closed in 1992.

Paul Concilio, a member of a non-profit group wants to save the theatre and transform it to a multi-use venue for community activities. For the past nine years, he's been in communication with the owner, Pat Olsen about his plan.

"We came to the 25th street theatre after reading an article in 2004 about how the theatre was threatened of being torn down," Concilio said.

Olsen's son, Richard, died in 1993 leaving the ownership to him.

"There is another business partner out there who recently passed away, but that business partner has refused to admit he had legality types to the property and his name appears on the title and deed," Concilio said. "Olsen can't sell the property because of the other name."

If Olsen were to invest in the property or sell it, he has to make sure there are no other legal ties to the owner who recently died last year.

According to city officials, nobody has submitted plans to bring the building up to code and for years 25th Street Theatre has sat there.

The condition of the building is also a big factor. The city wants to see the theatre saved, but something has to be done soon.

"The building is in very bad shape and it's not feasible to repair," Robert Pirelo said. "Now, that doesn't mean that it can't be repaired because anything can be repaired. 

Olsen's consultants have done multiple inspections over the years and found the structure sound.

"The theatre itself is structurally speaking in good shape," Glenn Thomas of Thomas Architect said. "Minus the asbestos that's falling from the walls and the mold situation."

In the meantime, Concilio and the owner are trying to clear up that one hurdle.

"If we can clean up the legality on the recent passing of the owner, maybe we can get it cleared up," Concilio said.

Once that issue gets taken care of, there is already a drawn out plan in place for the 25th Street Theatre. 

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