The Mercury Center for the Performing Arts

For a full decade LMLB was graced with a performing venue known as the Theater Behind the Store.  This facility was as basic as it comes; yes, it had bathrooms and electricity, but other than that it was simply a tin roof tied by wire onto rafters, a concert floor and one stone wall.  Three outside walls, stage, seating, backstage, lights, sound all had to be constructed – and then removed and stored for two weeks every year to make room for another organization.  The inconveniences were multiple; no heat or air conditioning, shows delayed by thundering rain on the tin roof and, always, the annual tear-down, storage, and rebuilding of every single piece of the theater.

Nonetheless, LMLB thrived and in 2009 began plans for a permanent facility to be named The Mercury Theater for the Performing Arts.  (The name comes from the area’s local history with mercury mining as well as a nod to the historical Mercury Theater of Orson Welles). 

 In the fall of 2010 the Board of Directors of Terlingua Fire and Emergency Medical Services (TFEMS) decided to donate, rather than sell, two acres of property to a local non-profit organization.  TFEMS selected LMLB Productions as the entity best suited to receive this donation.  In December 2010 LMLB President Trevor Hickle and the TFEMS board met to formalize the arrangement.  The land transfer agreement with signed on September 11, 2011 by LMLB President Martha Stafford and TFEMS President Steve Beckett.   On November 5, 2012 LMLB President Stafford met with the TFEMS board to document that all caveats of the land transfer had been met by LMLB.  Deed transfer is expected to occur in April 2013.

 The building of the Mercury Theater for the Performing Arts became a “must” rather than a dream when the Theater Behind the Store venue was lost in November 2012 due to ownership issues.   While the lost of venue was an unexpected surprise, LMLB was lived up to the mantra “the show must go on” and produced its regularly scheduled winter show in a space donated by a local business.  The LMLB Board of Directors is committed to future productions, regardless of scrambling for space until our permanent theater is ready.  And that won’t be long!  The Board understands that the building this theater must occur in increments; a roof, walls, utilities – and we’ll be open the theater.  After all, we have quite a bit of experience of producing high quality theater in a jerry-rigged space … and we can live with lawn chairs for seats for awhile longer.  Our beautiful little space will unfold and develop a step at a time, while we stay true to our mission of presenting the performing arts to the Terlingua community.   

 In addition to use by LMLB productions, the Mercury Theater will be available for use by other community organizations.  The Board envisions groups holding classes, trainings, and meetings in the building as well as school programs, performances and graduation.  As the space will be climate controlled, events can be scheduled throughout the year which could help offset the summer slowdown.