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Monday, February 20, 2012

Arcadia Theater: Endangered Species

My friend James Partain took these photos years ago with a wink to the irony in the title of the movie showing at the time.  Never before has this irony been as true as it is at present.
If anyone among the readership of this blog has any influence with Hossein "Hagi" Hagiholam (830-895-2441), or his business partner in the current Arcadia venture, Steve Huser (830-257-8588), I wish you'd contact them and urge them to "restore" the Arcadia and not turn it into some weird homage honoring New York City.  I've made my concerns known to both of them; perhaps you'll have better luck than I.
Many of us regret the City's decision to transfer this property over to Mamacita's Holdings; fortunately the city manager who led that charge (and misled others in the process) is now gone.  No one I've spoken to thinks giving the Arcadia to them was a good idea.
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Arcadia Theater, Kerrville, mid-1980s
Arcadia Theater, Kerrville, mid-1980s
Arcadia Theater, Kerrville, mid-1980s
Arcadia Theater, Kerrville, mid-1980s

20 comments:

  1. Joe, I hear your concern and share your desire for the best possible way to preserve this wonderful landmark.
    Would you know of a reference to the current plans so others might understand?
    My sincerest regards,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the plans are in flux, but the published reports suggest the inside will feature icons from Broadway and New York City.... Much as Hagi's original Burger Island featured murals of copyrighted images.

      Delete
  2. and whats wrong or weird about icons from broadway and NYC? i like the arcadia theatre, and i think it would be kind of a cool decoration to the arcadias art deco design.

    perhaps it would suit you better with family pics of the schreiner and peterson families? God knows they have their name on everything else. let hagi realize his vision. i think its a great idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely nothing is wrong with Hagi's vision. Of course, nothing is wrong with historic preservation, either. If Hagi wants to build a night club, great. He certainly has the resources to build one from scratch. That said, he has no right to desecrate a community landmark, especially one that was given to him by the City of Kerrville to preserve. Unfortunately the then-City Administration failed to ensure the building would be preserved in tune with its historic past. That was stupid.

      I respect your opinion, or I wouldn't have allowed it on my blog. But I disagree, and very strongly.

      Delete
    2. I too grew up in Kerrville, and I went off to serve my country after high school. Although I have lived in a few places since then, I have always relished coming home to visit my parents and spend some time in my childhood home.

      My dad passed several years ago, but my mom cannot bring herself to move; Kerrville is her home, and OUR memories of my father are here, too.

      Now, that I have returned to to help her in her senior years, I have found Kerrville to be strangely familiar, and not in a good way.

      I do see some familiar faces and hear recognizable last names every now and again, but I also see and feel a strange outside influence that seems to care nothing about Kerrville.

      I believe we are not only selling-out our country to a bunch of foreigners who have no respect for our heritage or beliefs. We are giving them small town America, too.

      Now, I know that it appears that Hagi is being patriotic by making some memorial to New York, but I believe his motives are PURELY financial and motivated by greed.

      If I'm wrong, and Hagi really does care about Kerrville, let him prove it by restoring this HISTORICAL LANDMARK to what it once was, even AT A LOSS.

      If I am correct, then I wish Hagi would leave and take his restaurant with him.

      Delete
  3. So you are saying the outside will likely maintain the look it has now, but you are objecting to what is going on inside. Do you have a profitable alternative?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't believe Hagi's plan, as presented, will be profitable.

      Delete
  4. I remember when the building was utilized for much more than movies. I attended many stage events in the Arcadia building.

    I would love to see it "brought back" to its original greatness. That means that my vote is for historical restoration.

    Judging from Mr. Hagiholam's success, Kerrville has been very good to him. I would think that he would like to return the favor to Kerrville by restoring the Arcadia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, but the plans that Hagi has made public don't suggest he'll be restoring the Arcadia; the plans I've seen suggest he'll be completely transmogrifying it.

      Delete
    2. Joyce Colbath BayerMarch 11, 2012 at 5:17 AM

      I was born in Ingram and lived in Kerrville for years before I came to Abilene 21 years ago. Kerrville will always be very special and I miss lots of the buildings that have dissappeared over the years. That said, I wish they would restore the Arcadia. They did that to the theater here in Abilene and they have so many things there every week. They have put on plays, they show some of the popular old movies and it is always full. There is money that can be made out of the building. Why change it, to many landmarks have already been torn down and that is so very sad for all of us that was born and raised here. I loved going to movies in my earlier years and so much can be done with that beautiful building. My suggestion is to come to Abilene and look at the Paramount, (I think that is the name) and talk to the people and see what all they do with it. It is to beautiful to change!

      Delete
  5. I now believe that I eat too often at Mamacita's.

    Perhaps it's time for my family to find a different eating establishment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you like Mamacita's, I hope you'll continue to eat there.

      Delete
    2. We will. I was just trying to make a point.

      Delete
  6. Fill me in- what is his plan for the Arcadia?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Joe, you said, "especially one that was given to him."

    Was the building truly given to him free of charge?

    If so, I want to sign up for that program because there are several buildings in
    downtown Kerrville that I would like to own, free of charge.

    Of course, my last statement was made "tongue-in-cheek."

    However, if the building was given with the understanding that it will be restored, then I hope that a Kerrville lawyer will donate his or her time to ensure that the Arcadia is properly and historically restored.

    Otherwise, I hope the building can be reclaimed by the city.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The words, at the bottom of each post that we must type before our post is accepted, seem to be getting more difficult to decipher.

    That was frustrating to me until I clicked the "?" next to the field where the words are entered (typed).

    I learned that the process of typing those words is called "CAPTCHA."

    I also learned that its purpose is not simply to keep computer programs, or "bots," from posting to a blog, but that they also serve a higher purpose.

    The following quote better explains than I could explain it:

    "Helping the World One Word at a Time

    By entering the words in the box, you are also helping to digitize texts that were written before the computer age. The words that you see were taken directly from old texts that are being scanned and stored in digital format in order to preserve them and make them more accessible to the world. Since some of the words in these texts are difficult for computers to process, we are using the results of your efforts to help decipher them."

    ReplyDelete
  9. This city has gotten so hick and redneck that they cannot stop thinking like one when it comes to creativity. Restore it to its grandeur like the Majestic, the Aztec,and the McComb theaters. Be original, when he put that stupid Alamo with Davy Crocket I was just waiting for him to add an arcade shooting gallery with Mexicans and Texans to shoot at while serving his food with a coon skin cap. It was so stupid. Why is he trying to copy icons that already exist. New York, get for reals, what local is going to appreciate a Newe York skyline that has never left this boring little city knows what New York really looks like too. Hagi, quit copying stuff that people have no idea or concept of, New York has rats bums, gangs, and gourmet restaraunts, are you going to put those in too? Common you have somewhat of a beautiful restaraunt if you get rid of that Alamo. The Mexican/Spanish and Persian design concept is beautiful the restaurant would look nice with some spanish, mexican and persian art and statues, come up with something original. I swear the city of Fredericksburg has so much creativity that makes them more desirable. Fund the arts, lets make downtown into arts and folklore district. Lets have have San Antonio Symphony night in the Arcadia or on the downtown square during the spring, summer, winter, or fall along with art shows and food vendors, every month. This city has gotten to be a real stick in the mud. Its the only city I know that puts a stupid playground on a library premises, All the parks that we have in this city and you put one on the library grounds, so the books can be left outside by the kids to get wet or destroyed because the kids forget them on the swing. The library is a fortress of learning while having fun. Instead of a playground make a large studio to paint, create, learn like the Witte Museum We need visual ideas from artists, there are so may talent adults and students here in Kerrville along with the wide variety of history and culture that we are losing because we are not talented enough to think of something original as we put an attrocious New York skyline on a city Icon that has been around for over 100 years. Dont pollute the backdrop to our Hill Country beauty with its ambient colors, its an insult to our city. Lets have a Brazilian Mardi Gras, something different. Summer Jazz and wine night on the lawn of the court house or the square, Not these amateaur local bands either.Good entertainment, the kind that Ms. Quinn brings to the Callelioux

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spoken with a bit of anger, but your points are well taken.

      I like these ideas.

      Delete
  10. This is my 2 cents, I grew up in Kerrville, and going to the Arcadia was so much fun. My memories of walking down the entrance, and seeing the ads for the upcoming movies in those brilliantly lit art deco, neon-lit frames still makes me smile to this day, and i'm 42, and the memories of the Arcadia Theater still make me happy. Hagi should restore it as a tribute to the past of Kerrville, after all, it is the town that made him rich.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you.

      Also, I have those very same memories.

      Delete

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