SAN ANTONIO – A historic theater is planning on opening its doors again to serve the community and bring new entertainment to the Alamo City.
The Alameda Theater was once a downtown bright spot. It first opened its doors in 1949 and catered to the community with Latino programming.
"Teatro Alameda is the legacy of the Latinos in America. This is where we grew up. This is where we learned how beautiful it was to be brown," said Jorge Cortez, who wants to see the theater restored.
The theater has mostly sat empty for years. Its most recent use was office space.
"The Alameda Theater is a near and dear thing to us. As a child, of course, I use to go there and it meant a whole lot to the Hispanic community, and I hope that it will remain as important as it always was, if not more important," said Tony Cantu, who visited the theater as a child.
The city's plan is to restore and reopen the theater. It will also serve as the headquarters of Texas Public Radio, while continuing its focus on the Latino arts.
"There is demand for Latino-focused programming in the city of San Antonio, and it will not cannibalize any other program going on in any other theater in San Antonio. Also, we're not planning on producing our own programming. We want to curate the theater and partner with other organizations that do programming," said Lori Houston, assistant city manager of San Antonio.
The city's vision is not shared by everyone, though.
"I think the city should sell it off, privatize it, because they could gain some revenue from that. It's going to be right next to the San Pedro Creek development," said Michael Idrigo, who attended the city's community meeting on the project.
The project will cost $26 million, with $9 million will coming from the city, another $9 million from the county, $5 million will come from Texas Public Radio and the rest from historic tax credits and philanthropic donations.
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