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Lakewood Theater Receives Historic Designation

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM)A year-long push to save a beloved Dallas icon has finally come to a close.

Many North Texans turned out for today's Dallas City council meeting, the reason, to convince them to designate the Lakewood Theater as a historical landmark.

"You've all seen the letters of support. What we haven't seen is even a peep of criticism about this idea." commented Councilman Philip Kingston.

The city council voted unanimously to designate the 78-year-old theater a landmark.

"It's a beacon of the community, and the heart of the community. Because it says "Lakewood," and when you drive down the road, you see that Lakewood tower, and you know you're home." says supporter Kyle Rains.

The designation means the east Dallas 1938 icon would look the same for years to come. There can be no changes to the façade, marquee, tower or interior murals – not matter what the space becomes.

The theater is closed now, but Craig Kinney and Bill Willingham, are now one step closer to putting life back into the building and once again making it a vibrant space in the community.

Tenants have come and gone over seven decades, but the campaign to protect the Lakewood Theater truly began in 2015. There was an uproar when theater owners ripped up old seats and parts of the stage, tossing the remains in a dumpster. Their justification was that they needed to make way for improvements.

The current owners have said they have no intention of harming the theater and understand the love that those in the neighborhood have for it.

Last winter the Landmark Commission unanimously voted to initiate historic designation. In June, the proposal sailed through the City Planning Commission.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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