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Upgraded Uptown Theatre reopening

The Uptown Theatre in Marble Falls, Texas

The Uptown Theatre, 218 Main St. in downtown Marble Falls, is hosting a soft reopening on April 19. Staff photo by Nathan Bush

The Uptown Theatre in downtown Marble Falls is hosting a soft reopening on April 19 after more than a year of renovations to the over 100-year-old building. A grand opening is planned for May 5.

Sponsored by Highland Lakes Creative Arts, the April event features live music by The $2 Bills and The Cryptocurrency Cowboys, a local oldies band. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. for social hour; music plays from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Admission is free and discounted drinks will be served at the bar. The theater is located at 218 Main St.

“It’s going to be a soft open just to shake the cobwebs out and see what’s going to go wrong,” said Andrew McCarroll, the Uptown’s operations manager. “We started all of this over a year ago. It’s been a big project.”

A lengthy health battle delayed the process, McCarroll said.

“I started all of this and then I got diagnosed with cancer,” he said. “Everything kind of came to a screeching halt.”

McCarroll was declared cancer-free months later and work at the theater resumed.

“I had to deal with that, but then we were able to pick the ball back up,” he said. “I’m good and solid now.”

Upgrades include new carpeting, a fresh coat of metallic gray paint in the lobby, and the installation of dynamic stage lighting. 

“There was old stuff from the (1970s),” McCarroll said. “The new stage lights are LEDs, which is much better.”

While initial work is almost complete, McCarroll hopes to upgrade even more in the coming months, including installing a new marquee.

“Right now, we’ve got the old marquee where you have to get up on a ladder and switch the letters,” he said. “I’m going to replace it with a digital sign.”

Another item on McCarroll’s wishlist is a mini-museum inside the theater’s former projection room.

“We’ve got tons of old stuff in here that I’d like to put on display,” he said. “If I make it a tiny museum, people can come in and check it all out.”

Once open, the Uptown plans themed movie nights on Tuesdays.

“This is going to be a movie theater one night a week,” McCarroll said. “We might do theme months like ’70s month and we’ll show ‘Jaws’ and ‘Close Encounter.’”

The theater will host live music performances from a variety of artists the rest of the week.

“I think it will mainly be country because of where we are, but I also want to invite other genres like bluegrass, classical, jazz, and classic rock,” McCarroll said. “I want to have acts that I think people in the area will like.”

McCarroll also wants to attract sports fans by showing live games.

“I hope to have it up and running for the NFL Playoffs and March Madness,” he said. “It’s going to be cool because nobody in the area has anything close to that.”

The Uptown’s grand opening on May 5 will feature music by Stephanie Urbina Jones and The Honky Tonk Mariachi.

“(Urbina Jones) calls it ‘country music with chili peppers,’” McCarroll said. “She’s an excellent songwriter and performer.”

He sees the upgraded Uptown as an artistic hub for newcomers and visitors that retains its nostalgic hold on longtime residents. 

“We have a pretty diverse community out here,” McCarroll said. “I’m trying to make sure that everybody is going to have something to see here.”

nathan@thepicayune.com