In the 1980's Local 51 members were touring the world! The growing popularity of the Houston Grand Opera and the Houston Ballet took those companies, along with our members, to places like Milan, Edinburgh, Cairo, and China. Other members went on the road with traveling productions of "Phantom of the Opera," "Jesus Christ Superstar," "State Fair," and "Annie."
In 1987 the Wortham Theater Center was built downtown. This new center would become the home of both the Houston Grand Opera and the Houston Ballet.
In 1992 the Republican National Convention was held in the Houston Astrodome's complex. Local 51 technicians worked hard around the clock for weeks preparing for the event. Also, in the 1990's Disney chooses Houston and the Music Hall for its world premiere of "Beauty and the Beast." "Beauty" drew sellout crowds before moving on to Broadway.
In 1997 The Houston City Council approved $75 Million for a new music hall. The Hobby Family pledged $12 Million to the center which would become the famous Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.
In January 1999 Local 51 came full circle when it merged with the membership of I.A.T.S.E. Local 65 in Galveston. Also in 1999, Local 51 members celebrated 100 years of Service to the Arts in Houston.