San Marcos has hosted popular up-and-coming live music for decades. Stevie Ray Vaughn, George Strait, Grupo Fantasma and other musicians have taken the stage at venues around the city.
However, a new venue opening March 9 on The Square could draw more talent.
The venue can accommodate 1,000 people and will host local and national acts of all musical genres, said Scott Gregson, Texas Music Theater co-owner.
“We’re trying to bring in the best acts we can,” Scott Gregson said. “The best country acts, but we are not bound to just one genre. We want to get some Blue October in as well. We want a venue the artist is happy to play in.”
Grey Gregson is a co-owner of Texas Music Theater and Scott Gregson’s brother. He is a vocalist, pianist, guitarist and bassist who shared the stage with George Strait, Hootie and the Blowfish, Willie Nelson and other artists.
“This venue was built with musicians in mind,” Grey Gregson said. “I am a musician and I know what I’d want.”
Gregson wants a venue that will exceed the basic accommodations of most music venues.
The backstage dressing room is complete with washer and dryer, flat screen TV and remote-control camera to view the main floor. The venue will sport a ramp more than 3 feet wide to make loading equipment easy for bands.
The space was not always so state-of-the-art.
The venue was originally built in 1941 as the Plaza Theater, which showed movies such as Casablanca and The Big Sleep. It was renovated and reopened in 1958 as the Holiday Theater. Scott Gregson has owned the building since it was a bar and music venue known as Gordo’s. He closed the venue in fall 2008 when plans for The Texas Music Theater began.
The first Texas Music Theater show open to the public is Cory Morrow performing next month. Morrow has released nine albums and sold more than 200,000 records in his career. His single "Ramblin’ Man" reached No. 1 on the Texas Music Chart. He will return to San Marcos’ new venue March 27 when it hosts the Lone Star Music Awards for which he has been nominated in the “Best Male Vocal” category.
Texas Music Theater is the biggest venue to host MR Fest, KTSW’s annual music festival. It was held at smaller venues in previous years, such as Tantra Coffeehouse and Triple Crown.
Eric Shaw, booking agent for Triple Crown, said Texas Music Theater may negatively affect business for Triple Crown and other small venues, but views this as “positive for the San Marcos music scene.” He said the bigger venue will bring more well-known acts to San Marcos.
Shaw said he hopes to expand and raise Triple Crow’s stage in response to the new competition
Myles Duelm, local guitarist and singer-songwriter, said he hopes to play a show in the new venue. Duelm, geography junior, said the technology offered by Texas Music Theater will draw artists and audience members from surrounding areas.
“It’s an interesting venue,” Duelm said. “It could open a lot of eyes."