Aztec Theatre

104 N. St. Mary's Street,
San Antonio, TX 78205

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Showing 1 - 25 of 62 comments

Ripshin
Ripshin on October 8, 2014 at 12:56 pm

Frankly, they need to turn this back into a film theater. With the increasing number of locals moving downtown, I think there would be an audience. Catering to the tourists just won’t work. There is already an IMAX downtown, although I think that this theater is equipped to show large films.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 8, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Here is the official web site of the Aztec Theatre. There are a few music events scheduled this month, but fewer for November and December. At least the place is open.

Ripshin
Ripshin on September 5, 2013 at 11:40 am

New lessor will attempt to turn it into a House of Blues-style venue.

mobilesworking
mobilesworking on March 31, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Just chiming in to say that many of us in the city continue to keep our fingers crossed that someone with vision will purchase this building and put it to proper use.

Ripshin
Ripshin on September 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm

No, the theater will never be demolished. San Antonio has a strict preservation mentality (for the most part). It’s only a matter of time until it’s sold, and put to use. As mentioned in my previous posts, I agree that the past few attempts at programming have been idiotic. It is currently owned by Drury Inns – a most unfortunate situation.

LuisV
LuisV on September 1, 2012 at 12:34 pm

The status of this theater needs to be changed to “Closed”. I just passed by the Aztec and the marquee says that it is available to lease. So sad as the theater has been completely and beautifully restored. This theater thrives on tourism yet their “programming” since restoration has been horrible. I’m not the least bit surprised that it failed. The good thing is that I have no fear that the theater has any chance at demolition as it is one the city’s true landmarks and one the country’s best and very few remaining theaters of this Indian style.

Ripshin
Ripshin on August 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Didn’t realize that they’d already converted the balcony to twin theaters that soon! Of course, it’s back to a single (empty) theater now – the restoration, however, removed a large percentage of the orchestra seats…

Ripshin
Ripshin on March 30, 2012 at 10:54 am

I walked by The Aztec last week, and they still had the musical country show poster in the window, but there was no sign of life. Everyone in the tourist industry knew that the special effects/IMAX-ish set-up wouldn’t work after restoration, and neither would the country show that followed. A Mexican musical show, minus gimmicks, MIGHT work for a while. Or, a venue for comedians…….The Majestic Theater books a lot of big-name comedians, but it seats more people, as The Aztec lost half (?) of its seating during the restoration. I was surprised to read that it originally had 3,000 seats – seems a lot smaller than The Majestic, even back then.

Actually, “gimmicks” sometimes work with the type of tourist who comes to SA – just not what anybody has tried. Ripley’s has enough of that stuff downtown, anyway. It would take Disney or Universal to pull it off successfully….

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 26, 2012 at 12:43 am

The official web site still exists, but has no shows of any sort listed at all. Instead, it touts the shops and restaurant in the building. When was the last time any events took place in this theater?

The history section of the web site says that the house opened on June 4, 1926, not 1924. An article about the takeover of the Aztec by Publix, in the January 7, 1930, issue of Motion Picture Times, gives the same date, as does every other print source I’ve found.

Ripshin
Ripshin on May 30, 2011 at 9:01 am

This site lists the Aztec as “showing movies”. It must not be a regular occurrence, as their web site makes no reference to films, of any type. The silent “Phantom” film showing, indicated in the photo above, must have been a one-shot deal. I think that the only way that the Aztec can actually make money, is to exhibit special films on a regular basis, and NOT “silent” pictures. San Antonio allowed Ripley’s to take over Alamo Plaza with a variety of questionable “venues”, and the last thing that the adjacent River Walk needs, is another gimmicky showcase. The nearby restored Majestic and Empire Theaters, are controlled by a single entity, and supported by the non-profit Las Casas Foundation. They host travelling shows, and various entertainment groups. The restored Aztec has never found “the proper footing,” and was initially promoted by the nearby flagship Drury Hotel property on the River Walk – for a while, anyway.

LuisV
LuisV on May 29, 2011 at 4:08 pm

I can confirm that the Aztec is still open as of today and it is still showing the Country Music showcase. I couldn’t bring myself to sit through something like that even though I would have loved to have seen the auditorium. At least this spectacular theater (which is in a relatively rare style) was saved.

Ripshin
Ripshin on January 22, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Actually, it was not completely restored to its former glory – in the theater section, quite a few liberties were taken, to shoe-horn in that ridiculous special-effects theater concept, and then the pseudo-Opryland thing that followed.

drivein2001
drivein2001 on January 21, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Here’s a photo I took some 11 years ago. So glad this Theatre was restored to its former glory..
View link
Randy A. Carlisle
RAC Photography

Ripshin
Ripshin on September 18, 2010 at 8:44 am

OK, that was odd. Anyway, as I started to finish with, the Powers That Be in the city government recently hired some expensive company to tell them to RAISE the already high parking fees for city garages. SA isn’t LA or NYC – locals are NOT going to sponsor downtown venues and restaurants, if they are forced to pay ridiculous fees. These fees hurt venues like The Aztec (in addition to the ill-advised shows themselves).

Ripshin
Ripshin on September 18, 2010 at 8:37 am

I’m “thrilled” to have to type this again. Other sites do have the capability of maintaining a typed post, even if the poster has been unknowingly signed off. Fix that. ANYWAY, this new show is not selling well, on a consistent basis. Its months are numbered, and I’ll be curious to see what the inevitable third utilization of this restored theater will be. In SA, it is always a mistake to base the concept of a venue on the tourist trade – they come here for the Alamo and River Walk, period. The locals do not care about this show. Like the Majestic, Empire, and soon Alameda, reveal, restored theaters work best when catering to the local community. Un UnUn UUUnUnUnfortunaUnfortunately, some

bdt328
bdt328 on September 17, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Had a chance to see “San Antonio Rose Live” labor day weekend. As posted above, the theater renovations are great, sound is great, seating very comfortable. As far as the show is concerned, the musicians are all seasoned pros that will not disappoint. If you have enough interest to purchase a ticket, you will not come away from this show disappointed. Great show !!

jwballer
jwballer on April 3, 2010 at 2:33 pm

The organ is still here but i dont know where.
View link

Ripshin
Ripshin on February 23, 2010 at 10:43 pm

This will bomb, as well. Parking is an issue with the locals, and they should never base a concept on what is presumed to be the taste of the average tourist. While SA gets a lot of blue-collar families, it also attracts upper-end business conventioneers who are not going to be caught dead in the place. Plus, kids will be bored by the shows. SA isn’t Branson, or Nashville. I’m thrilled that the theater has been restored, but finding the proper usage of the space will be difficult.

spectrum
spectrum on February 22, 2010 at 8:26 am

The Aztec is now open! The website listed in the description is active once again.

Starting February 22, 2010 the Aztec is presenting the “Rose Hill Live Show”, a two hour concert of traditional country, western swing and gospel music. The show is running Fridays through Sundays through at least July 2010.

jrhine
jrhine on December 13, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Went to the Aztec to see the San Antonio Rose Live Christmas Show. Status should be changed to Open. The theater is magnificent and the stage is very high tech. The stage was built out past the proscenium and the seats are large and comfortable with wide arm rests. The balcony is not in use. I imagine that the seating has been reduced considerably with the new seats. I could not see any traces of the organ. The organ screens were not back lit so I could not see if swell shades existed. There is an rectangle outlined on the center of the stage about where the proscenium is so I don’t know if the Wurlitzer console still exists in a pit. No one around seemed to know anything about the theater.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on June 22, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Only two left for sale at Amazon! Those Chick Chandler/June Clyde masterpieces sell out fast!

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on June 22, 2009 at 9:49 am

7 Doors of Death…

Only the finest in motion picture entertainment at the Aztec 3…

Ripshin
Ripshin on May 1, 2009 at 8:55 pm

The balcony was made into two other screens, I believe.

Ripshin
Ripshin on March 30, 2009 at 12:37 am

I went to the grand reopening in 2006, and it was terrible. The pre-show in the lobby was dull, and the special film was completely out of focus, and also boring. I told my friend it wouldn’t last the year, and it didn’t. At one point, they were going to replace the IMAX-ish film, with some kind of rotating country-western show, like the Grand Old Opry. I think the economy may have slowed that down.

I had scouted the old theater for a movie, back in the early 90s, and it was creepy, but cool – pre-restoration.