Panhandle Spirit: Mulkey Theater renovation in Clarendon



    A renovation project years in the making is now just a matter of a months from completion. Thanks to support from the community, the Mulkey Theater in Clarendon will be restored and better than before.

    This theater hasn't shown a movie since the 1980s. Just a shell now of the showplace the Mulkey family opened back in 1946. Bob Weiss, the Clarendon Chamber of Commerce Manager, is among many who've wished for its reincarnation.

    "I used to walk by, or look in the windows out front, and there used to be a bunch of old seats that had been disassembled, and were sitting on pallets in the lobby floor. And I used to always think, what a great idea to get this place open again," Weiss said.

    That idea gained traction and funding through the work of the Economic Development corporation. Now, the chamber has a seat purchasing deal going, so people can buy a seat with a nameplate for posterity.

    "I gave one to my grandson, and he's only 12 years old, so in theory, when he's 60 years old and walking into the theater, it'd be a pretty neat deal to have," Weiss said.

    While the seats and floors will be new, old touches will remain, like the original concession counter and popcorn machine. They want to use the ticket window and dispenser, too. The giant projectors must be moved out, but Weiss hopes they can find a way to display one of them somewhere.

    "I can’t wait until we have the projection system, and the lighting system for people to come look at, and get the balcony redone. Of course, once we finally start putting seats in, I think everybody's gonna really believe it's gonna open," said Weiss.

    He says it's too soon to put a grand opening date out there, but a summer time ceremony seems realistic.

    If you're interested in buying one of those seats, contact the Clarendon Chamber. They're $100 and that includes rights to that seat for all the events there.

    Weiss said they won't just show movies. The screen will be removable, so the stage can be used for concerts and shows.

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