History of the Aztec Theater

History of the Aztec Theater

Aztec Theater is the first live historical theater in San Antonio built in 1926 which was designed by the firm of Meyer and Holler. The Theater has since been appeared on the National Register of Historic Places after its establishment, and is decorated with colored columns, sculptures, furnishings and murals many of which are reproduction of Meso-American artifacts. Besides its silk lobby decors and astonishing finishing, the theater is one of a kind.

Opened officially on June 4th 1926, the theater can hold up-to a maximum capacity of 3000. This classical theater is estimated at an average cost of under $ 2million and among the most decorative movie theater in America. The lobby of the theater is filled by a massive two-ton chandelier which is completely restored by contractors. Hanging in front of the stage is the original fire screen, an ancient painting depicting the meeting of the Aztec Ruler, Montezuma the second and Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes. The two story, 12-feet wide theater was mentioned as the largestin Texas at that time.

Stage shows were featured some of which included: a 26-piece orchestra, chorus girls and an Eleven Rack Robert Morton theater organ instrument,several red carpet events and several other motion pictures premiers. The theater remained popular for some decades and by the ’70s, the theater was collapsing. Afterwards the theater was divided into three auditoriums built and named as the ‘Aztec Triplex’ which faced demolition. The complex faced closure in 1984, which was a year of ‘neglect and urban decay’. Aztec Theater was rescued from demolition in 1989 by the ‘San Antonio Conservation Society‘.  Here is a video of the theater in it’s heyday.

In September 2013, lurk was discovered and the PHP Entertainment Ventures Limited Company meet and signed a long-term lease with the theater to transform the Aztec complex into a multi-purpose entertainment and events facility which will host public and private functions which help promote the entertainment industry. The Aztec was part of the Theater district that included the Empire (1914), the Texas (1926), the Majestic (1929) and the Alameda (1949). Based on San Antonio’s Rive-walk, the second most popular tourist attraction in Texas, the theater re-opened in August 2009 as a concert venue. San Antonio Rose Live was a two-hour live show featuring most musical genres from traditional country, western swing and Gospel music. The live show composed of 9 world-class musicians from Nashville, Branson, Austin and San Antonio. This show later closed in February 2012 due to issues listed as “the current and future circumstances”.

The remaining feature of the River-walk level of the theater include: Rio San Antonio Cruises, Agave Bar and Iron Cactus Mexican Drill.

3 Reasons To Love Live Theater

3 Reasons To Love Live Theater

Nothing feels more poignant, mesmerizing and gregarious as watching a live theater. Nothing compares to the energy of a live performance, the feedback and applause from the audience makes the performance even better.  If you never been to a live performance you need to take in a live show at least once in your lifetime and you’ll be a convert.  Here are 3 reasons to love live theater.

The Performance is Alive

With live theater, you get direct contact with the performers as they put on a show. It is far more interactive than watching TV or even going to the movies, there is no canned laugh track at the appropriate time, the performers need to invoke reactions in the crowd. Every word said and all actions of the performers get directly to you, that is, you don’t get the edited version of the drama  and mistakes happen in a live show all the time, that’s part of the charm. As a result, live theater gets you fully involved and there are no camera tricks behind the scenes, everything is laid bare in front of you

Live Theater is Educational and Inspirational

Live theater needs you to pay attention to grasp the subtle cues in the performance, you’re left thinking about the subject matter and live theater can tackle some pretty heavy subject matter.  Live theater leaves you puzzling out how the performance was put together and how the sets are constructed and how the whole thing comes together.  There is months of work that goes on behind the scenes of every live show.  Live theater is often a reflection of the culture and it has been a big part of our culture for thousands of years.  Ancient Greeks and Romans put on huge theater productions.

Live Theater Meets and Connects You With New People

It is not just the performers you make a connection with but the entire audience as you have this shared experience. Live theater brings together hundreds of people from different walks of life and differing cultures to connect them with this one performance.  Often while  discussing social or political issues…sometimes just to share in laughter.  You find yourself discussing the show with random strangers during intermission. .

Live theater cannot compare with TV or movies when it comes to spectator involvement, and entertainment.  Make no mistake movies and television are good in their own right, but theater is just a much different medium to experience.