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The Queen Theatre in Bryan may soon see new ownership changes

Posted at 7:17 PM, Dec 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-07 20:17:58-05

BRYAN, TEXAS  — A staple in downtown Bryan could have a new ownership.

Tuesday, Bryan City Council will meet to discuss the future ownership of The Queen Theatre.

Like many theatres across the country not seeing any action since March, the Queen Theatre in Bryan is no different.

"The Queen Theatre is an iconic building fully restored in the heart of Bryan. It is so important to our entire community. To our city. To our city council and to the Downtown Bryan Association," Joey Dunn, Deputy City Manager for the City of Bryan said.

Looking for long term and best care alternatives, the City of Bryan has some interest in making sure an icon of their own is taken care of.

The Downtown Bryan Association currently owns the building, but has approached the City about transferring ownership.

"This isn't about the city taking a building and taking it offline. This is a very public place. We want it to be a place where visitors citizens and residents can continue to enjoy," Dunn added.

Built in the late 1800's as a hotel, the Bryan staple served as an outlet for many events over the years.

From 1939 until the mid 70's, the Queen operated as a movie theatre and in 2010 the Downtown Bryan Association took over and purchased the building and began to revive it. Ten years later, a pandemic shocked sales and operations and the Association started looking for alternatives to keep it afloat.

"A lot of current residents...a lot of current businesses...a lot of people have great memories of this building from years ago," Dunn said.

Local Bryan business owner, Gilbert Ocasta, with City Barbershop says when he sees the Queen Theatre, he is flooded with memories and would love to see businesses like theaters back in full swing.

"I was in there (inside the theatre) in 1961. That's where I met my ex wife. So it brings back memories," Ocasta said. "It would be a lot of help, as far as the Queen Theatre being open."

Deputy City Manager for the City of Bryan, Joey Dunn, says he wants to ensure residents and the Bryan community the building will be taken care of.

"This is a partnership long-term between downtown, merchants owners, and the Association with the City of Bryan," Dunn added.

If the formal vote is considered and approved during Tuesday's Bryan city council meeting, the city will then take the debt of more $450,000 on.