The Texan Theatre, 207 E. Tyler St., in Athens, operated from April 1948 until January 1984. The theater, that sits on the frame of a remodeled seed store, saw a revival in 1987, when a promoter turned it into a short lived Opry house, according to Phyllis Vermillion of the Henderson County Historical Commission.

Since then, the building has fallen into disrepair and remained vacant, but it soon may be resurrected again.

After many failed attempts to rejuvenate the historic Texan Theatre in Athens, the city is preparing to transform the property into something new.

The city of Athens has been in discussion with a group of lawyers that currently own the property. The lawyers acquired the property with the thought of turning it into a law office, but decided against it and instead began thinking about donating the property to the city, Mike Head said.

Last week, the Athens City Council authorized City Administrator Philip Rodriguez to move forward with a plan to take over the historic building.

“(The city could) restore it as kind of an outdoor public area, and we’d be donating it for that purpose,” Head said.

The group recently had an engineer assess the property. The engineer’s report indicated the building needed a little work.

“But the structural integrity of the walls for the most part is good, and there is nothing to indicate a problem where we couldn’t move forward,” Head said.

“We’d like to turn it into an outdoor concert or event area. Add some restrooms, because the city doesn’t have anything like that downtown,” Rodriguez said.

He added that while the city has not taken ownership of the property, he expects it will as soon as appraisals and other details are finalized.

“My brother passed away from cancer, in 1986, and we’d be donating it in his memory,” Head said.

When the city finalizes plans to convey the building, it will be donated in honor of Fred ‘Bud’ Head Jr.

Twitter: @TMT_Cory


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Cory is a multimedia journalist and member of the Education Writers Association, Criminal Justice Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. He has appeared on The Murder Tapes, Crime Watch Daily and Grave Mysteries on Investigation Discovery.