Azteca Theater

838 F Street,
Fresno, CA 93706

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Impressaria Maria
Impressaria Maria on December 27, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Yhis theater is fully reopened as of Sept. 26, 2014. See photos and events

Mikeyisirish on June 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm

A 2011 photo can be seen here.

Impressaria Maria
Impressaria Maria on November 15, 2009 at 8:51 pm

“Arturo Tirado and the Teatro Azteca: Mexican popular culture in the central San Joaquin Valley"
An article by Dr. Guzman the role of Tirado and the Azteca Theater in Hispanic culture in Central California appeared in California History magazine.
View link

kencmcintyre on April 4, 2009 at 6:10 pm

Here is an April 1969 ad from the Fresno Bee:

Impressaria Maria
Impressaria Maria on June 22, 2005 at 11:44 am

The facade is an art deco style even though it was built 1947-8.
I believe it was affiliated with Azteca Films from Mexico, thus the namesake.

Impressaria Maria
Impressaria Maria on June 21, 2005 at 7:19 pm

The theater was built by Gustavo Acosta in 1948 who had several theaters and worked out of Los Angeles. It was the first Spanish-only theater in Fresno and served the whole San Joaquin valley. Sometime in the 1950s Arturo Tirado took over the Teatro Azteca in Fresno and received film distribution through Acosta in Los Angeles. Tirado was born in 1912 to a family of entertainors that moverd to Los Angeles around 1918 and he acted in theaters and some cinema and even played violin in a music group. He organized tours in the US for many famous actors and musicians from Mexico. He ran the Azteca until 1980. In later years it became more of a social center for the Mexican-American community helping those in need, charitable food drives and Tirado even wrote some Spanish language brochures on legal citizenship to help the many workers from Mexico who populated the San Joaquin valley. In the early 1980s the theater ran budget films in English and Spanish.
The theater was the center for music, vaudeville, comedy and theatrics as well a s cinema for the Mexican-American community. When Cesar Chavez made his famous march for farmworkers from Delano to Sacramento he stopped at the Azteca and rallied his followers. The mayor, Tirado and infamous Police Chief Morton escorted the march through the area to show respect and guarantee safe passage.
The theater fell into neglect in the late 1980s and by 1995 was in derelict condition with doors off, holes in the roof, all seats and equipment removed. There uswed to be 10 large murals of Azteca life on the wall and many framed photos of stars of Mexico. Now it is stabilized and under renovation and there is a desire to find old photos of what it used to look like.
It was designed by Johnson engineers who also designed the Biola Theater in a nearby community. The roof trusses were built by Sanger Iron and thanks to good construction the building is sound and has a good long future ahead.

Impressaria Maria
Impressaria Maria on June 21, 2005 at 12:40 pm

The theater is under slow renovation along with the rest of Chinatown in Fresno. As Chinatown experiences expected renovations in 2007 the theater is expected to reopen as a multi-venue theater. There is a art gallery in the lobby but the major part of the building is not open. There are most of the parts of the theater organ from the Oakland Fox Orpheum Theater that may be incorporated to the uses of the theater in the future.

William on October 24, 2003 at 7:40 am

The Azteca Theatre is located at 838 F Street. And it operated from 1948 to 1966 when it closed.