Future plans for historic 25th St. Theatre

City of Waco plans to purchase lot and build new fire station

WACO, TX - Big changes could soon be coming to the Sanger-Heights neighborhood in Waco. The historic 25th St. Theatre may soon come down.

"You could go in, pay your fee and watch all day long," said Larry Holze, City of Waco Spokesman.

Holze remembers visiting the theatre when he was a child.

"A lot of dates were happening in that theater, a lot of memories, and it's sad that it was allowed to get to the position it was," said Holze.

Now, over seven decades later, what once house some of the most iconic films, will be no more.

"The city has now agreed and made the purchase of that entire block, and will be sadly, but taking down all the remaining walls, that's all that's left of the 25th street theatre," said Holze.

The City's plan? Build a fire station and move the firefighters from Station 6 in.

"This station here is falling down, it's falling apart, we've got cracks on the walls that you know, you can see daylight through. You know, this station was build in 1940's so it's served it's served it's purpose, it's served it's time and really we've kind of outgrown this station," said Benjamin Samarripa, Captain of Station 6 with the Waco Fire Department.

Bertha Barrientos owns Bertha's Bakery and Restaurant which sits right across the 25th St. Theater, she's been there for 27 years.

Bertha says she's glad the city is doing something about the old building, but although a fire station would be helpful, she says she would rather see new stores or restaurants, something that would generate more visits from people.

The City is buying the lot for $88,000.

"Then we'll get more in the design stage of what the needs are for the fire department and what are the things that we might be able to do for that entire block," said Holze.

It could take about two years before the new station is designed and built.

"When we have an opportunity to get another station, that's something that we know know we are going to be in for many years so we want to make sure that we take care of it cause ultimately that's going to let us take care of the citizens that we serve," said Barrientos.

City Council is expected to vote on the demolition and future plans for the lot on N. 25th St. on Tuesday.

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