Fort Worth's Ridglea Theater Gets New Ownership, Promises Big Things in 2011

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Over on his paper's music blog, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Preston Jones has been spending the past few days detailing the latest news taking place at the historic Ridglea Theater, which, you may or may not recall, has been in and out of trouble all year long, facing potential closings, potential buyouts and, generally, causing an uproar left and right.

But the latest news is encouraging, to be sure -- like, first and foremost, the fact that the space has a new owner.

As first hinted at by the Fort Worth Weekly back in November, that new owner is Jerry Shults, the man behind the Dallas, Austin and Albuquerque smoke shop chain Gas Pipe, which, if nothing else, boasts the dubious distinction of being the focus of a song on Tum Tum's latest mixtape.

The theater, Jones reports, will close in March when the lease switches hands to Shults and will be shut down until September for renovations that will see workers update the venue's facade, murals, and balcony. In the end, Shults tells the S-T, the venue should boast a near 2,000-person capacity. And with as-yet-unconfirmed promises that concert booking conglomerate Live Nation has reached out to Shults to express interest in exclusively booking the space, Shults is confident that the upgrades should help shift a good chunk of the North Texas touring music focus the Fort's way.

"Acts that would play the Granada would come here instead," Shults tells Jones.

We'll see about that, but it's definitely something worth keeping an eye on once we reach 2011.

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