Waco Racecourse Bows Out For Now As Entertainment Center | Local News

Waco Hippodrome Inc., under which the complex operates, “will retain the historic theater, making the venue available for rental.”

“My heart aches at the news,” said Megan Henderson, executive director of City Center Waco. “I think the Turners have embarked on a huge and important project, that of saving the racetrack and giving it back its active place in the city center and in the whole community. They got into it without having a theater training, but out of a desire to serve. “

The Turners acquired the cinema palace from the nonprofit Waco Performing Arts Co. two years after the group closed it for financial reasons.

The remodeling and expansion allowed for in-restaurant movies, various food and beverage spaces, and the occasional live music performance, particularly after a second phase of expansion in 2017 enabled movies and music. to operate simultaneously.

The venue booked Clint Black, Travis Tritt, Kris Kristofferson, and Lyle Lovett, among others, bringing traffic downtown and Austin Avenue that otherwise might not have been inclined to seek entertainment options there. -low.

“It became a big deal, helped a lot of businesses, brought people here who didn’t normally come downtown,” said Mark Moore, manager of Portofino’s, an Italian restaurant near the Hippodrome theater. “I thought they did such a good job with all of the remodeling. The only thing I found a little silly was trying to serve food in theaters, with people running up and down the aisles, having to step over chairs while taking orders.

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