Moonlight Venue: Abandoned movie theater turned event palace shines on Frazier Street

Monica Herrera (left) and Brenda Barbedillo are the owners of Moonlight Venue.

Monica Herrera (left) and Brenda Barbedillo are the owners of Moonlight Venue.

Image description
Moonlight Venue
Image description
Moonlight Venue
Brenda Barbedillo and Monica Herrera were not acquainted when a mutual friend introduced them to each other—and to the idea of starting an event venue business in Conroe.

The mutual friend has since moved to North Carolina, but Barbedillo and Herrera decided to pursue the business idea and became the co-owners of Moonlight Venue, which has been open since November 2017 in Conroe’s Woodcreek Shopping Center.

When they started, the venue was an old 1960s movie theater that had been abandoned for 18 years.

“Everything was old, and even the furniture was from a long time ago; it was all dusty,” Barbedillo said. “But when I went to the main hall … it has very high ceilings, and that’s when I thought it was a good place to start a venue.”

Leveling the seating and renovating the interior took a full year before the team was able to open up the venue, with the interior designed by both women and Barbedillo’s husband acting as the interior architect.

Barbedillo said the biggest challenge so far was not the huge undertaking of a renovation but getting the word out that the place is now open after it sat abandoned for so long.

“Our customers are mainly weddings, quinceañeras, sweet 16s and corporate events,” Herrera said.

She said events held there so far also include high school reunions—a casino-themed 40th for Conroe High School—anniversaries, award ceremonies, church banquets, ROTC dances and college student events.

The venue can host up to 350 guests, and the team works with vendors—hyperlocal and from Houston—to make plans with florists, bakers, musicians, bartenders, photographers, decorators and tech support.

Some customers choose to use their own vendors, but Barbedillo and Herrera said events tend to run more smoothly when they take care of it all.

“I’m happy, and I feel very motivated because all the events and parties have been very, very good,” Barbedillo said. “It gives you a good feeling to know you’re putting in every effort of yourself, but it has paid off, and the people are happy.”

Moonlight Venue
2017 N. Frazier St., Ste. D2, Conroe
936-337-0613
www.moonlightvenue.com
Hours: Mon.-Thur. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., closed Sat.-Sun.
SHARE THIS STORY
By Jules Rogers

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Jules Rogers has been covering community journalism and urban trade news since 2014. She moved to Houston in June 2018 to become an editor with Community Impact Newspaper after four years of reporting for various newspapers affiliated with the Portland Tribune in Oregon, including two years at the Portland Business Tribune. Before that, Jules spent time reporting for the Grants Pass Daily Courier in Southern Oregon. Her favorite beats to cover are business, economic development and urban planning.


MOST RECENT

Texas Central officials announced interior plans Feb. 17 for the company's proposed high-speed train connecting Houston and Dallas. The Shinkansen trains in Japan will be customized for Texas with no middle seats and additional legroom, company officials announced. (Courtesy Texas Central)
JUST IN: Texas Central gives first glimpse of high speed train car interior

Texas Central officials announced interior plans Feb. 17 for the company's proposed high-speed train connecting Houston and Dallas.

The Finding Place will operate as a information center for Grand Central Park. (Courtesy Kaplan Public Relations)
Grand Central Park to open The Finding Place office

The staffed information center allows prospective homeowners to learn more about the homes available and the amenities of the development.

Daniel Pena, David Eason, Clyde Vogel and incumbent Gene DeForest will face each other in the March Republican primaries. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montgomery County Constable Precinct 2 Republican candidates discuss experience, leadership

Daniel Pena, David Eason, Clyde Vogel and incumbent Gene DeForest will face each other in the March Republican primaries.

Early voting begins Feb. 18 in the 2020 Texas primary. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Republican candidates for Montgomery County Precinct 1 Commissioner talk government spending, flooding

Robert Walker and Billy Graff will face each other in the Republican primary for Montgomery County Commissioner Precinct 1.

The city of Conroe has begun work to add flashing yellow lights to 26 locations across Conroe to make left turns safer for drivers. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Flashing yellow lights, bus routes: Check out 3 Conroe transportation projects

The city of Conroe has begun work to add flashing yellow lights to 26 locations across Conroe to make left turns safer for drivers.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo will host the 55th annual Go Texan Parade in downtown Conroe. (Courtesy Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo)
Things to do in Conroe, Montgomery on Feb. 22-March 3

Check out some local events and happenings in February and March.

Conroe City Council meets at 300 W. Davis St., Conroe. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Conroe City Council votes against term limits proposal

The proposed ordinance would have placed an amendment on the May 2 ballot to establish two four-year term limits.

Council member Duane Ham was arrested during a traffic stop for driving under the influence. (Courtesy Montgomery County Sheriff's Office)
Conroe City Council Member Duane Ham charged with driving while intoxicated

Ham was released on a $600 bail at 5:39 a.m. Feb. 13.

Students from Lone Star College-Montgomery will perform their production of "Student Body" at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival on Feb. 25. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lone Star College-Montgomery students invited to perform play at national festival

"Student Body," written by Frank Winters, examines campus sexual assault; its protagonists discover a video at a party of a sex act that "may or may not be considered consensual."

The Marcel Group will break ground on Marcel Boulevard on March 17. (Rendering courtesy Kaplan Public Relations)
Marcel Boulevard to offer retail, restaurant, office space in Conroe

The open-air development will add 68,160 square feet of restaurant and retail space, 32,400 square feet of executive office space and parking to the area.

Former Council Member John Bickford receives a plaque from Mayor Sara Countryman in recognition of his service to the city. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Montgomery City Council Member John Bickford resigns

Bickford, who has served on the council since 2011, said in his resignation letter he and his wife will be selling their Montgomery home soon to “start a new chapter in our lives.”

Back to top