Crews with Garret Demolition LLC begin tearing down the former 25th Street Theatre on Monday. The city plans to build Waco Fire Station No. 6 in its place starting in 2020.
The weather-beaten, rusted and towering 25th Street Theatre sign was removed in May 2019 after it had become a hazard to itself and passersby. Crews with A-1 Banner & Sign, Jackson Sign & Lighting and Wales Crane & Rigging helped take it down before it was placed in storage.
The 74-year-old movie house will fall to make room for a $5.1 million fire station that will serve as a replacement for Station No. 6, which is nearby.
The 25th Street Theatre opened in 1945 with 780 seats, a relative novelty called air conditioning, a wide screen and murals inside. It closed in 1982, bowing to multiscreen theaters, before becoming a nightclub for several years. It closed in 1992 and fell into disrepair. The city tagged it as unsafe in 2001, and ownership disputes hampered redevelopment until the city bought the property last year.