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Many Fear Iconic North Texas Landmark Will Soon Disappear

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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - The clock is ticking on the iconic landmark in northeast Dallas that so many residents have long associated with Lakewood. The property owner of the Lakewood Theater said on Tuesday the building is tenantless.

The lights have now dimmed on the neon lit sign, causing some residents to fear the theater will become a disappearing act.

"Kind of sad. Like losing an old friend," said Joel Bozarth, a Lakewood resident.

For more than a decade, Bozarth has had one of the best seats in the house.

"It's just cool. It's just an icon. Just beautiful. When it lights up, just a beacon," said Bozarth.

The theater has been used in Christmas cards, paintings are made of it and countless photographers make it the focal point of their shots.

But the theater has now flickered into darkness. All shows have stopped.

Residents like Bozarth share a joint fear.

"That someone would tear it down and then it goes away," said Bozarth.

Property owner Bill Willingham said on Tuesday that the rumors have exploded about the future of the Lakewood Theater.

"There's been a lot of talk. A lot of email, Facebook and all of this new communication system that absolutely are wrong. 99-percent of them," said Willingham. "We're not going to tear down the theater, we're not going to do away with the tower."

Willingham said they are working right now to find a tenant that will keep the Lakewood Theater a venue.

The two leading candidates Willingham said were the Alamo Draft House and another theater company that wishes to remain anonymous.

"Give us a chance. We hope to find something that's a big addition to the center," said Willingham.

Bozarth said he hope his old friend makes it for a second act.

"You have to feel it. And if you live here, you just know it. It's just a wonderful, wonderful place. It'd be sad if it just somehow wasn't there," said Bozarth.

The property owners said the Lakewood Theater most likely will remain empty for several months.

(©2015 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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