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Fate Of Ridglea Theater Likely Decided At Auction

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Questions remain for many people after the DEA seized Fort Worth’s iconic Ridglea Theater in connection with a major drug investigation.

They want to know what will happen to the 65 year old landmark known for its stone tower that rises 70 feet in the air. It’s one of the few buildings in the country on the National Register of Historic Places.

When federal drug agents took action this week to seize 11 Gas Pipe smoke shops in North Texas, the Fort Worth store on Camp Bowie, adjacent to the historic Ridglea Theater was hit. And since the owner of the head shop also owns the theater, the DEA included it in its forfeiture action.

“If it’s ultimately seized by the federal government it too will be sold,” said former Federal Prosecutor Jay Johnson. He said the theater will likely be auctioned if the government proves the owners of the Gas Pipe produced and sold synthetic marijuana as K2 or spice along with another suspect.

Employees of The Gas Pipe ordered CBS 11’s J.D. Miles and his photojournalist off their property and declined comment Friday. The Ridglea is supposed to undergo major renovations but it’s currently promoted as available event space until a court decides it’s fate.

A DEA agent told CBS 11 News it may take several months before a judge rules on the assets seized that total $2.8 million in cash, property and gold.

(©2014 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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