You are here

Rio Theater (Teatro La Paz)

-A A +A
Teatro La Paz
1915, 1933 additions, Juan Bautista Barbéra. 514–518 Doherty Ave.
  • (The Lyda Hill Texas Collection of Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith's America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

The theater served as the cultural anchor for the tightly knit south-side Hispanic community, also known as “Mexiquito,” or Little Mexico. Barbéra, a Spanish-born bricklayer, built the symmetrical two-story theater with segmental-arched windows, pendant cornice, and shallow pilasters. This hybrid version of the Border Brick style may be the result of the designer's seven-year residence in Brownsville. In 1933, Barbéra added one-story rental spaces on each side of the theater in the Spanish Mediterranean style. Renamed the Rio Theater in 1945, the 250-seat facility continues to showcase Hispanic arts, as intended by its original builder.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Rio Theater (Teatro La Paz)", [Mission, 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, 291-291.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.