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A 'sign' of neighborhood revitalization at Woodlawn Theatre

Partners with theatre owners made the sign possible

SAN ANTONIO - With the flip of a switch, the new sign at the old Woodlawn Theatre lit up in neon green. Applause erupted from the audience spilling out into the street to take pictures.

"The whole community has come together and just been supportive, and it's very exciting," said Sherry Wehner, co-owner of the theatre.

In 1999, the Deco District was designated a Revitalization Project under the city's Neighborhood Commercial Revitalization Program. The Jefferson Woodlawn Lake Community Development Corporation leads the efforts.

The program is responsible for efforts that spruced up the landmark Texaco Building and the opening of new businesses in the area. The H-E-B Deco District is also a product from the program. It opened up in October 2002.

District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal helped gather the funding needed to get the sign up and running. But he believes it's more than just a sign; rather, he says, it's indicative of the entire neighborhood becoming active once again.

"This area of town, especially on Fredericksburg, is due for some revitalization. I think that despite investing in the arts, this really does a lot for the corridor, it does a lot for the neighborhood. It becomes a jewel, a gem, that they can hold onto," he said.

Wehner says there is a long way to go before the renovation is complete. But she says it's yet another step in the progress of the theatre, and the Deco District.

"It's just the best of who we are on one sign," Bernal said.

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