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Historic Rex Theatre getting a facelift
DOWNTOWN PENSACOLA -- A historic building in Downtown Pensacola is getting a face lift by being restored.
Rex Theatre on Palafox Street
Built in 1910 as a furniture store
Then re-opened as a second-run movie theater from 1937 to 1977
Harvest Church acquired the Rex in August of 2012.
That group has plans to restore it to a theater once again.
"The Rex Theatre building has sat vacant for many years, but a local church group just bought the property and they are getting ready to start renovations. As you tell they have their work cut out for them."
Many people pass the Rex Theatre building every day but have never been inside.
Harvest Church wants that to change..
They purchased the building and want to restore the old theater.
Priscilla Clark "It would be a fun thing to do. Come down and get some popcorn and enjoy the downtown area."
The project will cost around 1.7 million dollars and construction will begin in January.
They plan to show classic movies, but that's not all.
Joshua Stewart "We are going to have a stage we are going to extend that's behind me there, so we'll be able to do black box type theater so small scale live theater."
Church service will also be held on the weekends.
Stadium seating will be added and the theatre will sit 400 people.
"We don't want it to just be empty doing nothing we want it to be an asset to downtown and bring life to Palafox North of Garden."
But will it look like it did in the 30's?
Probably not since church leaders can't find any pictures of what the theatre looked like back then.
The outside will remain vintage and the inside will have a new vibe.
"There is brick that is behind this plaster and we want to expose that brick and maybe have it intermingled with some plaster pieces here or there so it has a real rustic House of Blues type feel."
Kevin Macky owner of Mackys Mudhouse and Grille says he decided to build his business north of Garden Street in hopes the Rex Theatre would be restored.
He plans to work closely with the theatre.
Kevin Macky "We're going to try to work with them to develop specials maybe somebody will try to come have dinner here then go to their show."
"It's still a long way from being an operating theater, but the church plans to have it completed by the end of July."