Dallas Businessman Renovating the Ridglea

By Omar Villafranca
|  Monday, Dec 27, 2010  |  Updated 5:28 AM CDT
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Omar Villafranca, NBCDFW.com

Fort Worth's Ridglea Theater is getting ready for a makeover.

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Fort Worth's Ridglea Theater is getting ready for a makeover.

Jerry Shults, a Dallas businessman, bought the Ridglea this month and decided to pour thousands of dollars into the iconic building to restore it.

"They're part of Americana and a part of who we are as a nation, because we can all remember going to theaters when we grew up. And they just don't build buildings like this anymore," he said.

The building has holes in the roof from an air-conditioning mishap. The terrazzo floors need to be redone. The mural needs to be cleaned.

But the restoration is all part of Shults' plan to bring the building back to its 1950s grandeur.

"The marquee, all the things that are really the artistic things with the theater, will be rebuilt first and renovated," he said.

Shults said he's fond of old theaters such as the Ridglea because one of his first jobs growing up was as an usher at a similar theater. That's why he wanted to buy and restore the Camp Bowie icon.

"This can be as important as Fort Worth wants it to be," he said. "And I think this will not only be a wonderful venue for Fort Worth, but all of the Metroplex and the state of Texas."

The Ridglea, which has a lot of metal bands on the lineup, could soon be hosting different types of music. Shults said he's open to hosting all types of music, such as western swing, jazz, alternative and classical.

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