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Shuttered for decades, a downtown theater in a rural Texas town is getting new life and new mission

Rural Texas towns like Levelland on the South Plains are increasingly turning to the arts to help revitalize their downtowns and provide more attractions for families.

Workers remove a plywood covering on the front of the Wallace Theater in Levelland on Dec. 5th, 2023. The historic theater, which has been vacant since the 1980s, is now under restoration and is expected to reopen by Dec. 2024.

From left: Wallace Theater executive director Allycyn Keeling and co-owner Iris Keeling unveil artist's renderings of the proposed restoration of the Wallace Theater during a press conference at the Studebaker Events building in Levelland on Dec. 5th, 2023.
The Wallace Theater building is seen under renovation on Dec. 5, 2023.
Wallace Theater co-owner Iris Keeling stands in the lobby of the Wallace Theater during renovations on Dec. 5th, 2023.
The restored Wallace Theater sign is seen on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023 in Levelland.

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