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Huntridge owner aims to bring new life to theater next year

Updated July 28, 2022 - 12:16 pm

Las Vegas developer J Dapper aims to start construction next year on the long-shuttered Huntridge Theater and figures it could cost upwards of $22 million to redevelop the World War II-era venue.

Dapper, founder of Dapper Companies, gave a status report Wednesday to the Las Vegas Historic Preservation Commission, saying he’s interviewed architecture firms and signed a long-term lease with theater operator SoHo Playhouse of New York City.

He said that the theater, at the corner of Charleston Boulevard and Maryland Parkway, was in “pretty bad shape” when he bought it and that his team spent several months cleaning it and patching holes in the building “to make sure that nobody got into the theater.”

Dapper also indicated he’s at the point where he’ll start submitting project plans for the site.

As described in a presentation from his company, he aims to start construction in September of 2023.

In a phone interview with the Review-Journal later Wednesday, Dapper said that he expects to have two leases for food-and-beverage outlets signed by year’s end, that he’s looking to land some public funding for the project and that he intends to add around 20,000 square feet to the Huntridge for two smaller theaters.

Dapper, who took ownership of the property last year, also estimated it would cost around $18 million to $22 million to redevelop the Huntridge.

He wants to reopen a once-popular venue that closed nearly 20 years ago, saw multiple revival attempts come and go over the years and fell into disrepair.

Built in 1944, the Huntridge showed movies for decades and was a top concert venue by the 1990s. The Mizrachi family acquired it in 2002 and closed it for renovations in 2004, but with escalating construction costs, owner Eli Mizrachi said the next year that he and the building were in “limbo.”

Efforts were launched to reopen the venue. In 2007, a bill in the Nevada Assembly proposed spending $8.5 million to buy and restore the Huntridge as a cultural and performing arts center, and in 2013, three downtown businessmen banded together to try to buy and renovate the theater.

The Las Vegas City Council ultimately approved a plan in 2019 to help facilitate a sale to Dapper, who closed his $4 million purchase of the Huntridge in March 2021.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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