Demolition of the historic Melba Theatre on Leopard Street, across from the Nueces County Courthouse, began Thursday morning. Some residents said they were sad to see the building come down.

"I used to live in the neighborhood, and I hate to see the building come down," Arturo Martinez said. "To me, it should have stayed here."

"They don't make buildings like that anymore, so you would think you would try to make something good out of it again, but there it goes," Rick Ramirez said.

On Thursday and Friday, City crews will close off traffic between Waco and Artestian streets to allow for the demolition.