LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Real estate developer J. Dapper's Dapper Companies announced Wednesday that the company has closed on the purchase of the Huntridge Theater in downtown Las Vegas.

According to a news release, the company will spend the next three years renovating the theater and the retail buildings on the western side of the property.

Real estate developer J. Dapper's Dapper Companies announced Wednesday that the company has closed on the purchase of the Huntridge Theater in downtown Las Vegas.

"Our goal to kind of bring it back to life, but also make it viable and useful for today," Dapper said. 

The Huntridge Theater opened in 1944 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993, the release notes.

Dapper said growing up, he knew the theater was a special place.

"I have an aunt that is now in her 80’s. She was the first graduating class back from Gorman High School which was just down the street. And at the time she tore tickets at the Huntridge theatre to pay for her tuition," Dapper said. 

He wants the building to live up to its original architectural integrity.

“It would be very difficult for me to guess this is what it needs to look like. This is what it needs to feel like. And then also we need to work within the bounds of the National Historic Register. So it’s a fine line between what our ultimate partner-tenant wants, and what is allowed and what we’re able to do," Dapper said. 

Dapper purchased the Huntridge Theater for $4 million, adding to his previous investment of nearly $25 million in the five other commercial real estate properties downtown, the company notes.

Dapper said former City Attorney Brad Jerbic was a catalyst to make this happen.

“He understood the importance of the building and decided that it was a worthwhile cause and so he compelled the city, city council, the mayor with this crazy plan to buy the Huntridge Theater,” Dapper said. 

Dapper thinks the theater is important to Las Vegas because it's one of the oldest buildings that hasn't been torn down. 

"The fact that it hasn’t been torn down and there’s a chance for it to come back- I think people get really nostalgic," Dapper said. 

According to the release, the Huntridge held performances such as The Killers, Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Violent Femmes and more until it closed on July 31, 2004, almost 60 years after it opened.

“The roof was replaced 20 years ago it’s in good shape. There’s a lot of things that aren’t you know electrical, and plumbing and other things that need to be repaired but that’s to be expected for a building that sat idle for 20 years," Dapper said.

Dapper said right now they're looking for potential tenants to run the theater and someone to operate the bar and restaurant.  

“Bringing the Huntridge Theater back to its former glory after lying abandoned for 20 years is insane and something I dreamed about for years,” said Dapper. “I remember being there when the Beastie Boys performed. I’ve heard stories that at a time when Vegas was lined with dirt roads and the Huntridge was the first unsegregated movie theater in town, Elvis rented it out for private openings and Abbott and Costello performed their acts before a show. That’s some major history, but now it’s time bring it back to life with new music, entertainment and to make history of our own."

Copyright 2021 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

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