New Mexico grants $3.3M for revival of Carlsbad's Cavern Theatre

New Mexico grants $3.3M for revival of Carlsbad’s Cavern Theatre

By Dale Janeway, Mayor of Carlsbad

We’re very thrilled to announce that Carlsbad’s Cavern Theatre has received a major grant through the State of New Mexico that should allow the community to reach the finish line on this important project. Last week, we received a letter from the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration that a $3,324,166 award of funding from Regional Recreation Centers/Quality of Life. A total of $45 million was available allowing New Mexico communities to plan, design, furnish, equip and construct recreational projects. It is great seeing Carlsbad on the list of major recipients.

This grant was submitted through the efforts of Angie Barrios-Testa, our Director of Municipal Services and Capital Programs, and Deputy Administrator KC Cass, and put together by The Grant Plant.  Carlsbad MainStreet Director Kat Davis, as well as Cavern Theatre Advocate Ken Britt, were both heavily involved. It was an overall team effort that has also included a lot of work on the past from Mitchell & Cruz Architecture, LLC. and Greer Construction.

Completing the Cavern Theatre will greatly enhance downtown Carlsbad. It certainly helps with tourism, but is also especially meaningful for our residents, many of whom remember attending movies at the theatre during their childhood. The theatre will ultimately be available for community events, performing concerts and local performances. Having a safe, downtown area for community activities has numerous benefits and makes the area more appealing to small businesses.

The Theatre was first constructed in 1951. The City of Carlsbad obtained ownership in 2014, thanks to the Light family.  The effort to restore the theatre has been handled through state and federal grants, as well as private donations.

The specific list of projects funded includes stage rigging, drapes, carpet, auditorium seating, a lift and a new audio/visual system. The state of New Mexico recently awarded a $350,000 grant for the theatre, but this recent award is by far the largest.  We appreciate all of the state’s support on this project, and look forward to moving forward toward completion.

This post was originally published in Mayor Dale Janway’s updated on the City of Carlsbad website. To learn more about the theatre restoration project, go here.