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Cavern Theatre Update




By Valeria Quezada

ECHS City Hall Intern


The Cavern Theatre is moving a few steps closer to being the beautiful downtown venue many residents have dreamed of for years.

The Theatre was built in 1951 by the Bartlett family and inspired many fond memories for residents. It was there that many people went to see their first movie, go on their first dates, and take their family out. After years of being used as a theatre and to host special events, the Cavern Theatre was determined a historical resource in 2008. During 2015, after the building was donated by Bob and Sidney Light, Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway appointed a task force to turn the theatre into a performing arts center. This rehabilitation will create a beautiful downtown venue for local community performers, musicians, local community productions, and for visiting performers. This is includes art, music, and cultural activities for the community. The renovation of the Cavern Theatre will create a space for future generations to enjoy just as much as previous generations.

Currently the Cavern Theatre is undergoing the renovation process. This renovation process will provide an economic revitalization of the downtown area and provide a beautiful venue for Carlsbad. Renovation is financed through the lodger’s tax fund and may include private donations in the future.

“The remodeling is in phase two of the process at the moment,” said Ken Britt, Director of Community Development. “The new modern roof is being added as well as the installation of HVC units on the roof and minor demolition. A significant amount of progress has been made and we are near completion of Phase 2, the virus has had little if no effect on the progress of the phase.”

Developers look forward to moving into phase three of the project soon.

“Phase three is going to be directed towards adding HVAC ducting to the building, as well as sewer line repairs and an ADA restroom. This phase currently is out for bid,” Britt explained.

It is truly exciting to see the Cavern Theatre being rehabilitated and the huge amount of progress that has been made in the last couple of months despite the COVID-19 outbreak. Especially since the Cavern Theatre is a huge part of Carlsbad’s history. Hopefully it will continue to make history during future generations and the new-comers in our growing community.

Carlsbad, New Mexico - Official City Website