Our Search for Cactus Theater’s Historic Story Uncovers an Amazing Hidden Gem [Gallery]
Cactus Theater has an incredible story that dates back to the early 1900s.
As we look forward to gathering again here in 2020, we wanted to explore one of Lubbock's most historic and great gathering places. The story we found blew us away.
There can be no doubt The Cactus Theater is a Lubbock legend, and the presence of a long line of incredible artists still sings from these walls. The Cactus Theater, and its amazing captain at the helm, Darryl Holland, have used this quiet time during the coronavirus pandemic to create more magic for us.
Holland has designed and is working on many awesome improvements. We were thrilled to get a tour and see all the wonderful upgrades for this impressive venue that can seat about 400 people.
"We're hoping that over the next two weeks, maybe we'll get that word that we can be fully operational by the end of June," Holland told us. He shared that artists like Restless Heart are all set to come perform as early as June 25th. We hope that will be able to happen.
"There's so much of the general public that just doesn't realize how much fun we have here and the caliber of legendary names that are coming through here," Holland said.
The upgrade work everywhere you look is done with a heartfelt passion and a mission to honor the history of this great theater, keeping in tune with its original historic charm. The Cactus Theater was originally a cinema from 1938-1958. It wasn't until the 90s that it made the transformation into a music venue.
"I'm trying to enhance it and take it to a place it never was," Holland said. "I'm just an old soul trying to breathe life and um create this magical experience."
We talked about how we would gather again, and he added: "That's what life's about, is sharing experiences. Whether it's family or friends or just being a fan of an artist, it's that interaction that music just feeds the soul. There's nothing like experiencing live music, especially at a historic venue. That's my whole driving force, it's trying to do something for Lubbock and the South Plains that is special, and we're not the biggest hall, but that intimate communal feeling is what we're going for."
Holland told us folks come from all over to take in a show at The Cactus Theater.
The work in progress gives us much to take in, from the carefully created aged paint on the walls and pecan wood trim, to the cactus green that now flanks the stage, the added LED lighting there and much more. Soon, the front will be enhanced with a cactus garden. It's going to make the Cactus Theater experience better than ever.
Visiting the Cactus Theater is also like stepping back in time, and we found some remarkable proof of the iconic and great artists who have performed here through its many remarkable years. Not that we need proof, but wow, the treasure we discovered backstage was mind-blowing.
Legends have traversed these historic walls, but very few even know about it or have seen it. We're talking about the incredible autograph covered Green Room that's backstage at the Cactus Theater.
Judging by the walls, many, many celebrities who have performed at the venue have apparently enjoyed this tradition.
It's a show in and of itself. It's tremendous to realize the phenomenal lineup of stars who have performed here and graced this backstage room with their autographs. Greatness is literally written everywhere you look. Everything imaginable is autographed, from floor to ceiling and more. It's one of the coolest things we've ever stumbled on.
We're very excited about this discovery, and very grateful to Darryl Holland at the Cactus Theater for the grand tour and his personal, passionate mission to make a difference and brighten lives for many of us here on the South Plains.
A big shout out for Darryl Holland and the one and only historic Cactus Theater. Thank you so much for all that you do. We really appreciate you.