The Aztec Theater in downtown San Antonio held its grand reopening Thursday night as it opened its doors for the first time since late 2011.
After being saved from demolition in the 1980s, then shutting down again last December, the theater is reopening as a venue for several kinds of events such as weddings, concerts, corporate events and theater productions.
Its signature décor features Aztec carvings and masks, which are all replicas of real artifacts found in the Sun Temples, said Wendy Welch, CEO of Outside the Box Productions which manages the theater.
“You see it from the outside and you just have no idea,” said Welch. “Everybody who first walks in here said... ‘Wow!’"
Built in 1926, it was the first theater in the country with air conditioning.
The roughly 2,000 pound chandelier hanging in the lobby is an instant eye-catcher and all original.
“It was actually built after the Aztec opened because the Majestic Theater was opening, so they wanted to take some glory away from that. So they had it commissioned in just 30 days,” said Welch.
Belgium-based Aztec Project Management owns the theater, which is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places and featured in the book “1,000 Places to See Before You Die.”
The theater holds 1,000 people. No matter what kind of event you attend at the Aztec, Welch says you’re sure to see a real show.
“People will leave with an experience by just coming in to the theater,” Welch said.