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Alameda Theater

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1949, N. Straus Nayfach; 2003 renovation, Killis Almond. 318 W. Houston St.

Saved from the wrecking ball in 1982, the Alameda Theater is one of the many works by Nayfach in the city. Its complex roof-scape, colored decorative tiles, and splendid eighty-six-foot-tall pylon sign are in a vaguely pre-Columbian style. The principal significance of the Alameda, named in honor of the famous park in Mexico City, lies in the 2,000-seat auditorium. Intended to serve the city's Spanish-speaking population, the auditorium hosted live performances and vaudeville shows. Rather than spend money on three-dimensional illusion, as was the case with the earlier Aztec ( SA21) and Majestic ( SA25) theaters, here the work is exuberantly done in fluorescent paint. Intended to be lit with black lights to make them glow in the dark, the murals that flank the stage were designed by San Antonio artist Pedro Teran and painted by Frank Lackner of the Chicago firm Hanns Teichert Company. The east side of the stage is devoted to the history of Mexico and the west wall illustrates the history of San Antonio. Following its abandonment as a movie theater in the 1970s, the Alameda was purchased by the City of San Antonio and renovated in 2003 as part of the Smithsonian Institution's Museo Alameda at El Mercado ( SA51).

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Alameda Theater", [San Antonio, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: Central, South, and Gulf Coast, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 158-158.

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