Cactus Theater to unveil new marquee

Published: Jul. 7, 2023 at 6:03 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Cactus Theater has been a part of Lubbock’s history for over eight decades. It’s had touch-ups here and there but on Friday night its new look will finally be complete.

Owner Darryl Holland walked KCDB through the history of the Lubbock landmark and how it’s changed over the years.

Most people know the Cactus Theater for its music performances, a bright neon marquee and the sound of music flooding the sidewalks of Buddy Holly Avenue, but it hasn’t always been a venue.

“The Cactus is a landmark - been here since 1938, celebrating its 85th, it operated as a single-screen movie house from 1938 to 1958,” Holland said.

Then the theater shut down, staying boarded up for over 30 years. However, in the early ‘90s, the Cactus Theater welcomed patrons once again. Darryl Holland took over the Cactus in 2016. He says it was his personal mission after hearing far too many people say there was nothing to do in Lubbock.

“I love history and I love promoting Lubbock and hopefully being a good ambassador and I hope Lubbock is proud of what we are doing,” Holland said.

Whether you are watching a live performance or just sitting in the theater, Holland is determined to preserve the rich history inside of the Lubbock landmark.

“This is the last one left in Lubbock. All of the others have turned into parking lots or other things or repurposed or office buildings or lawyer offices, so it’s important to keep the heritage that we have,” Holland said.

Aside from small changes to improve the viewer’s experience like new seats, lights, and decorations, Holland says the final touch is something he hopes will get Lubbock buzzing about the Cactus once again.

“We knew when we did this we would have that instant curb appeal and create a whole new excitement and buzz for downtown and hopefully the whole South Plains to come to discover the Cactus again or for the first time,” Holland said.

The new marquee will be unveiled on Jul. 7 at 9:15 p.m. in front of the Cactus Theater on Buddy Holly Avenue and 19th Street.