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THE AZTEC THEATRE HISTORY

 

The Aztec Theatre is San Antonio's premier historical multi-purpose entertainment and events facility. Located in the heart of downtown at the corner of Commerce St. and St. Mary's St., the Aztec Theatre in one of the Alamo City's most cherished architectural and historical landmarks. Considered by many as a Meso-American architectural work of art, the Aztec boasts a dramatic combination of authentic columns, reliefs and artifacts. From its stunning lobby and mezzanine to the glorious theatre and balcony, the Aztec Theatre is an experience unlike any other. 

 

At a price of just under $2 million and with a capacity of 3,000, the Aztec officially opened on June 4, 1926 as one of the most decorative movie theaters in the country.

 

The design firm of Meyer & Holler combined elements of Aztec design with modern touches creating an ancient American look, complete with polychromed plasterwork, duplicating murals, massive columns and sculputre from ancient Mexican temples. The centerpiece of the lobby was a three-ton chandelier, two stories tall and twelve feet wide, hailed as the largest in Texas at the time. 

 

In its early years, the Aztec Theatre featured stage shows (including chorus girls, a 26-piece orchestra and an 11-rank Robert Morton theatre pipe organ), red carpet events and numerous motion pictures premiers. Though the theater remained extremely popular for many decades, by the 1970's it was falling on hard times. Later on, the theatre was cut into three auditoriums and billed as the Aztec Triplex, but that only slowed the eventual decline. By 1984, the years of neglect and urban decay led to the theatre's closure. The San Antonio Conservation Society rescued the Aztec from demolition in 1989 and the theatre was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. 

 

In September of 2013, PHH Entertainment Ventures LLC signed a long-term lease to turn the Aztec into a multi-purpose entertainment and event facility. Inside the theatre the group constructed a tiered platform structure and imported from Germany a state-of-the-art sound system to create San Antonio's ultimate concert experience. The Aztec was re-born on 2/16/14 as the theatre hosted renowned rocker Eddie Money.

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