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Branson seeks purchase of theater property for Police Department HQ

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The city of Branson has entered a due diligence phase to purchase a theater property to use as the headquarters for its Police Department, as well as a public safety complex.

The Branson Board of Aldermen voted unanimously in a closed special meeting July 1 to start the process to buy the White House Theatre, 2255 Gretna Road, according to a news release issued yesterday.

The city is seeking to purchase the 65,000-square-foot building for $2.5 million. It would be financed through reserve funds of the city's half-cent public safety sales tax.

In addition to housing the Police Department, the building eventually may provide space for Branson Fire Rescue administration offices, police and fire training facilities, an emergency operation center and community spaces, according to the release.

"This project is in its very early stages and no timelines for remodeling or opening date have been set," officials said in the release.

The city in 2018 entered a separate contract to buy land at Roark Valley Road and Forsythe Street for a new Branson Police Department building, according to past reporting.

City officials say the acquisition of the White House Theatre property would save the municipality time and millions of dollars, as well as double the planned square footage, according to the release. Should the city buy the theater property, officials indicated they would sell the land previously purchased for the department headquarters.

The White House Theatre has not promoted major productions since 2019, according to reporting by the Branson Tri-Lakes News.

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