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.