DALLAS - The historic Lakewood neighborhood of Dallas is facing a huge clean up after hail storms pelted homes, businesses and cars Wednesday night.
At about 6 p.m. Wednesday night, a 20 to 30 minute hail storm pummeled the Lakewood area. Heavy rain and wind brought down tree limbs, lots of leaves and tore tile off nearby homes.
The long-standing Lakewood Theater, built back in 1938, was among the hardest hit businesses. The neon letters that normally light up orange on the tower of the theater were noticeably dark early Thursday morning. Hail destroyed the neon and the elaborate electrical system that kept those lights lit.
The marquee was also just a shell of what it used to be. So much glass was blown out that it was hard to tell what shows were playing. However, the long-running "Rocky Horror Picture Show" wording was still visible on the opposing marquee, untouched by the storm.
One staffer told News 8 the storm forced his five employees inside the theater, hoping to escape harm. They are okay, and the inside of the theater was not damaged. But, he told News 8 what made the 70-year-old theater so unique is what's going to make it more costly to repair. He said finding a neon specialist and an electrician who understands how to wire it will be difficult.
In the nearby parking lot of the adjacent strip malls were a number of cars too badly damaged to drive. The windshields were shattered through from the force of the powerful hail storm. The hail was the size of golf balls in some areas, and the size of baseballs in others.
Despite the timing of the storm, with the area well-populated with people frequenting the theater and nearby restaurants and stores, no one was reported injured.