Shocking news as the Waco Hippodrome will close down the Raleigh Diner, Hightop Bar, and its movie theater.

The Waco Hippodrome is still available to rent for future events, and for those who have events planned there already, a representative will reach out to you soon. According to their Facebook page, the ticketed events already scheduled will continue.

KCEN reports that the theaters facing South 8th Street will also become available real estate.

Shane Turner, a owner of The Waco Hippodrome Theatre says,  “Bringing the historic Hippodrome back to life was a labor of love for us, and she’s in good shape today. The enhancements to the property, the addition of the dining facilities, and expansion along 8th Street will afford a tremendous opportunity for someone with the passion and drive to make their own mark in downtown Waco.”

According to, the Waco Hippodrome opened in February of 1914. People lined the streets of Austin Ave and payed 10 cents to see the grand opening, which featured a live seal act, magic show, and five-piece orchestra.

Silent movies began to take over the live acts at the hippodrome and in 1928, a fire burned down the front portion of the structure. It reopened in 1929 with a new look, and in 1931 the Waco Hippodrome played its first movie with sound.

The Hippodrome would host the likes of Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, and Fanny Brice in the 1930s, and even the King himself, Elvis Presley, caught a movie there while he was stationed at Fort Hood in Killeen.

The Waco Hippodrome has seen its ups and downs over the years. It was bought by Shane and Cody Turner in 2012 and re-opened in 2014.

Waco's historic landmark is ready for the next phase. Let's hope it finds new life soon.

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