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Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:17 pm

Good news. Looks like Texarkana is preserving its history by not destroying an old venue.

Texarkana's Municipal Auditorium Awarded Grant

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Stars like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Louis Armstrong once graced its stage, but for the past 30 years the municipal auditorium in Texarkana has been sitting dormant, until now. The Arkansas municipal auditorium is working to restore this piece of musical history. Walk through a few dark hallways down a twisting stair case and it's like stepping back in time. Tucked inside what's now Arkansas side city hall is the municipal auditorium.

Adra Hallford is the spokesperson for Arkansas Auditorium Commission.
Hallford says, "the history of this building is really rich." Elvis and Johnny Cash, just to name a few, played on the stage. 83 year old C.C. Barnette met his wife at a concert at the auditorium. "I can see it in my mind just like it was a picture of it. For a country boy that was high class."

The commission's goal is turn this dark, dusty building into a new visual and performing arts center. City offices will have to be moved and major renovations are needed. The commission this week got a 78 thousand dollar grant to fix the auditorium's leaky roof. Hallford says "truthfully 78 thousand is a drop in the bucket." Restoring the municipal auditorium to what it looked like in its glory days is going to be no small feat.
It will take around five million dollars to make that happen. But Hallford says this is a piece of history worth saving. If the project continues to move forward, may be one day a new generation will take a seat inside the municipal auditorium.