DALHART, Texas (KAMR/KCIT)–The La Rita Performing Arts Theatre has been called a “hidden gem” in Dalhart. The 1930s period theatre is a stronghold for the arts on the High Plains.

The theatre was once a movie theatre beginning back in the 1920s. After closing in 1957, it sat vacant and dilapidated for decades.

However, it got a new life when the Dalhart Community Theatre took it over in 1989 and began restoration.

Now, in all its glory, the La Rita is a draw for theatre and live music lovers from all across the state.

La Rita board members say it would not be possible without community support.

“They come to our performances, they buy a membership into the theatrekids are doing here,” said Kathleen Pollard, Treasurer of the La Rita Performing Arts Theatre. “They want this to be available for their children or their grandchildren and we want that for them.”

Pollard said the theatre will keep up to date with the newest technology and will continue to fight for the fine arts as they are being phased out in schools.