LCRA, City of Goldthwaite award $8,253 grant for improvements to community theater

Goldthwaite Theatre will replace ramp and exterior door to improve accessibility

Dec. 8, 2023

Representatives from LCRA and the City of Goldthwaite present an $8,253 grant to the Goldthwaite Theatre for a new ramp and exterior door. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Wynona Head, theatre board vice president; Steve Dyer, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Milly Summy, theatre board member; Lynn Bouse, theatre board member and City of Goldthwaite alderman; Kay Bouse, theatre board president; Michael L. “Mike” Allen, LCRA Board member; Phil Wilson, LCRA general manager; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA Board member; Dee Sides, theatre board member; Tim Early, Goldthwaite Area Chamber of Commerce executive director; Laura Wilson, theatre board treasurer; Ginger Horn, theatre board secretary; Carol Bade and Dean Thorpe, theatre board members; and J. Wilson, Goldthwaite mayor.

GOLDTHWAITE, Texas – Thanks to an $8,253 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the City of Goldthwaite, the growing Goldthwaite Theatre will increase accessibility and safety for its patrons. The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $2,027 in matching funds from the 6-year-old community theater, will pay for the addition of a wheelchair-accessible ramp and a new, energy-efficient exterior door. Kay Bouse, president of the theater’s board of directors, said the improvements are overdue, noting that the wooden door being replaced does not open to the outside as required by law. The new, ADA-compliant ramp will take the place of an old wooden ramp that was constructed years ago when the building served as an animal feed store. “By replacing the door and ramp, the theater becomes aesthetically pleasing and energy-efficient,” Bouse said. “The changes also provide a sense of peace for our physically challenged patrons to enjoy performances without worry. It’s a precautionary move that also modernizes the theater and brings it up to date.” LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said the Goldthwaite Theatre provides a welcome spot for members of the community to enjoy live plays, musicals and more without leaving town. “I suspect everyone in Goldthwaite knows where the theater is in the heart of downtown,” he said. “It’s been an important part of the community for more than 100 years, and we’re excited LCRA is able to help with renovations that will help keep live theater thriving in Goldthwaite for years to come.” Wilson said theaters in Austin or Dallas/Fort Worth are several hours away from Goldthwaite. “To have a top-notch community meeting place locally provides a venue for local actors as well as traveling shows,” Wilson said. “Plus, with these renovations, the theater will be more accessible and can be available for conferences, seminars and more.” The nonprofit theater leases space through the Goldthwaite Economic Development Corporation in a two-story, stone building downtown that was constructed in the 1880s. Formerly a hotel, the building later was transformed into an opera house – complete with a stage and orchestra pit – and then into a movie theater showing talkies, Bouse said. Since the Goldthwaite Theatre’s founding in 2017, the theater has undergone a number of improvements, including electric service upgrades and the addition of three new restrooms, a new energy-efficient heating and cooling system, a lighted exterior marquee and dressing rooms. Future plans call for upgrading the theater’s lighting and sound systems and adding additional theater seating to replace the metal folding chairs currently in use, Bouse said. A melodrama titled “D.K. Molar, the Devious Dentist, or There’s Gold in Them Thar Teeth,” recently wrapped as the community theater’s eighth production. Bouse said the ongoing series of improvements will allow for an expansion of the number and types of productions held at the theater. The changes also will encourage community use of the venue for events such as weddings, conferences, civic meetings, music recitals and art exhibits. “This grant from LCRA is very supported by the board of directors and everyone I talk to in the community – and I talk to everybody because I’m Mrs. Theatre,” Bouse said. “We’re so happy with how Goldthwaite has gotten behind this project. Everything we’ve done to upgrade this building has been met with open arms. Our goal is to have a fully functional theater with all the old character of the original ‘Opera House.’” The community grant is one of 45 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. The City of Goldthwaite is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in January. More information is available at

About LCRA

The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations.

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