Audrey Caylor, owner of the Caylor Creek consignment store and The Boutique on the downtown square, confirmed this week she is negotiating to buy the Palace Theater with plans to expand her clothing business.

Caylor said she will relocate The Boutique to the former Palace space by March 1. She has taken possession of the building and already is having the interior repainted. Caylor also is buying the structure that currently houses her consignment store. Tim Cecil owns the buildings.

“My goal is to be on the square long term,” Caylor explained. “We’ve been in business here since 2006 and I’ve been renting space.”

Darrell Best, the Glen Rose Chamber of Commerce’s chairman, said he welcomed the news. City officials have expressed concern that so many businesses on the square have closed or are struggling to pay their bills in the current economic downturn.

 “I’m very pleased that there is a business that is committed to downtown and staying downtown,” he said.

Caylor said she plans to open a section between the two buildings so the consignment store and the newly relocated boutique merge. Caylor plans to expand the boutique’s line to carry more little girls’ clothes as well as some men’s clothes. The boutique also will continue its home décor and shoe departments and use the former theater’s upstairs and downstairs. 

Of the Palace Theater sign, she said, “I’m probably going to leave that. That’s part of the history of it.” Caylor also plans to place a framed description of the building outside so visitors can learn about the structure.

The interior will feature a “Moulin Rouge”-style theatrical theme, she added.

The theater’s future has been the subject of speculation since the Glen Rose 4b Economic Tax Corporation decided not to fund a proposal to convert the theater into a multi-purpose arts, film and community events venue.

Best had proposed the idea to turn the theater into an intimate 80-to-100-seat facility that could show second-run films or classics, host live stage productions, musical acts, business seminars, dance recitals and other community events.

Since that idea didn’t fly, however, he said he’s glad the building will be used and its character retained.

 “Audrey wanted the building, but she preferred to have the Palace as a theater if the 4b had decided to buy it,” Best said. “She’s been a champion (of downtown) throughout. It’s fantastic what she has planned.”