‘ACL’ Studio Draws $2.5M Grant

Public television’s “Austin City Limits” plans to move to new digs in 2010, thanks to a $2.5 million matching grant from the Moody Foundation in Galveston, Texas.

It’s the largest grant in KLRU-TV’s history, and will enable the show to move from its 320-seat studio at the University of Texas to a state-of-the-art theatre seating 2,750 and sporting the latest in HD equipment.

The Moody Theatre, named in honor of the foundation’s largesse, will be part of a downtown Austin development that is to include a W hotel and condominium project. In addition to tapings of the landmark “Austin City Limits” series, for which KRLU will get 45 rent-free days per year, the theatre is expected to host an estimated 120 concerts and other events annually.

The station plans to raise $6.5 million to purchase and install HD production equipment in the venue, as well as fund improvements at the station’s existing facility.

“This is a remarkable opportunity,” KLRU GM Bill Stotesbery told the Austin Business Journal. “KLRU will be able to take Austin City Limits to a new, $40 million studio that maintains the intimacy of our existing space while vastly increasing the capacity.

“We will work with the developer to create a state-of-the-art recording and broadcast facility in the heart of downtown Austin that we believe will be a great economic benefit for the entire community.”

Plans are for the series to begin taping its 36th season in the Moody Theatre in 2011.