Nacogdoches developer's project saves the Main Theatre from wrecking ball

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Like so many theatres of its time, the old Main Theatre in Nacogdoches was close to seeing a wrecking ball. Thanks to a nostalgic investor "The Main" will premier its make over to the public in about one month.

East Texas News got a sneak preview of the project.

For two years, developer Bill Bryant longed for the Main Theatre in Nacogdoches.

"I went to this place as a kid," Bryant said. "I came here practically every Saturday morning."

Multiplexes left the Main Theatre behind like a silent film star. Bryant came to its rescue.

"I picked up a big snake when I did it," Bryant said. "Building was in worse shape than I thought it was. The first day I came in here, there was three foot of water in here with mosquitoes."

In just over one year, Bryant is close to opening the Main Street Apartments. In all, it will boast ten loft apartments.

"We put a lot of extra stuff into this," Bryant said.

The one- and two-bedroom apartments have all the amenities of home, along with subtle reminders of once upon a time. Pointing something out in one of the apartments, Bryant said, "This is part of the original steel structure of the building. The original walls is the old theatre, which I think makes it that much better."

Bryant said he absolutely can't wait to start phase two - the renovation of the Main Theatre. He said with a project like this one just has to have a lot of imagination.

"You got to see it!" Bryant said.

The vision is a lobby restored to how it was when 25 cents got Bryant a movie and popcorn.

"The popcorn machine used to be right here" Bryant said. "There used to be a counter right here."

Upstairs was the balcony, which was located right under the projection room. During segregation, blacks were made to sit there. Bryant calls them the best seats in the house, which leads to wonder about the coming attraction.

"Not for sure yet," Bryant said. "It could be a wine bar with a mini theatre upstairs. It will have to be something that if you're downtown, you want to come by."

Make sure you swing by at night.

"All the neon and all will be just like it was originally back in the 40's and 50's," Bryant said.

The investment is sparing another bit of small town life from a wrecking ball. Now a new generation anxiously waits for opening night.

Bill Bryant said that he wants to have the Main Street Apartments ready for view by April 1. He added that he'll take about a month off and then get started on the lobby renovation.

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