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Rio Theater (Teatro La Paz)
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.
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