Wednesday, February 28, 2018

El Nacional Theatre, San Antonio, Texas

El Nacional Theatre
West Commerce Street and North Santa Rosa Avenue in San Antonio. 

Photographer: Russell Lee, March 1939 United States Farm Security Administration

Boxoffice, March 3, 1945:
"In this progressive southern city, El Nacional Theatre was designed by architect N. Straus Nayfach and erected in 1940 to fit a unique locale and patronage.

"El Nacional is distinctly Latin-American in flavor yet outstandingly modern in conception, a combination of qualities designed to appeal to and win the patronage of San Antonio's large Latin-American population.

"It is a large house, seating approximately 2,000, showing Mexican and other Spanish language pictures as well as American product."

The above photograph, taken in 1939 would dispute Boxoffice's opening date of 1940.

City Streets
Castillos en el aire

Since 1997 theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.
Walks also available at Local Expeditions
Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres.
The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.
Editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.


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