TAYLOR, Texas (KXAN) — A business owner in Taylor is leading the charge to give the historic Howard Theatre an encore. She said as more development moves into the city, she wants to preserve this nearly century-old staple from being torn down.
Channing Kingery-Boles owns the Taylor Soap Bar just a few shops away from the Howard Theatre on Main Street. She said she first saw for sale signs go up in the theatre’s windows roughly six months ago.
As she waited to see if another local would buy it, Kingery-Boles said she became increasingly worried the city’s longtime theatre would be no more.
“I was very concerned with all the development coming to the area that someone might come in and tear it down. I didn’t want to see that happen,” Kingery-Boles said.
She said the theatre had faced some hardships in recent years. Kingery-Boles said the theatre was closed throughout the pandemic, then reopened from time to time. However, a flood last year has caused this move to sell.
“It was just a wonderful experience from buying your ticket to just getting your popcorn, then walking upstairs. It felt like taking a step back in time,” Kingery-Boles said.
Kingery-Boles reached out to the owners of the theatre, who gave her 30 days to come up with the funds needed to buy the business. She has since set up a Kickstarter campaign and GoFundMe page to raise funds for the 200,000 goal.
Andrew Gonzales, owner of Taylor Sporting Goods, once worked in the shop he now owns across the street from the theatre.
He said since it has been more permanently shuttered, it’s been a sad loss for the community.
“It was a staple for Taylor. It was really only one of the establishments in town, especially downtown, that families could go to,” Gonzales said.