Kessler Theater owner Edwin Cabaniss is making aggressive strides to renovate the old movie house on Davis and open it as a performing arts space with office and retail components. Cabaniss bought the theater in January, and work started on the project Saturday.

He and his wife Lisa hope to open a children’s dance studio and about 6,000-square-feet of office and retail space in the fall. A small performance theater is expected to follow in mid-December. The picture at the right is of Edwin and Lisa Cabaniss with their children at a groundbreaking ceremony Friday. It is courtesy of Paul Quigg.

The city has approved plans for the theater, and workers are installing plumbing and electricity. Once that is complete, they will begin “going vertical” with the interior construction, and Cabaniss expects to start finishing out the interior at the beginning of August. Exterior renovations will follow.

You can watch a video of Emily Elbert performing at the groundbreaking ceremony here.