There is far more to the Aztec Theatre's story than just its future -- its past and architectural pedigree are nothing short of fascinating. I spoke to San Antonio Conservation Society’s Sue Ann Pemberton, who said its architectural theme is called Mayan Revival.
"It was constructed in 1926 as one of the thematic theaters of San Antonio" Pemberton explained. "The Aztec, the Mixtec, the Zapotec, the Toltec and the Mayan cultures were all revealed here in this theater."
After years of disuse, the vintage 1926 Aztec Theater fronting St. Mary’s and Commerce Streets downtown, has now been re-imagined and completely re-modeled. But it almost didn’t happen that way.
“This was almost condemned, and this building almost came down and became a hotel,” said Sam Panchevre of popular restaurant and live music venue Sam’s Burger Joint fame. He describes what he's done at the Aztec.
"It’s an adaptive re-use of old architecture," he said.
Spanish flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia died suddenly of a heart attack today in Cancun, Mexico, while on the beach with his children.
The 66-year-old guitarist vastly expanded the international audience for flamenco music and helped to legitimize flamenco in Spain itself, during a time when the music was largely being ignored by mainstream popularity.
San Antonio theater-goers now have a huge variety of venues from which to choose. I spoke to Overtime Theater’s Artistic Director Kyle Gillette, and he differentiates their objective this way.
“Devoted entirely to original works. And I really focus on choosing work that is both innovative and accessible,” he said.
There will be no Broadway hits at the Overtime — these are plays written by current playwrights, mostly local. The Overtime is at 1203 Camden Street on the other side of I-35 from Carlos Cortez’s Grotto, in the Museum Reach.
The halls of Geekdom are normally filled with techies workshopping the next killer app or the next innovation in cloud computing. But this weekend there was a different type of brain storm at the downtown offices.
Asia Ciaravino, president of the San Antonio Playhouse, stood in front of a computer project screen as she pitched their big idea to expert entrepreneurs. Ciaravino and five other arts groups just went through the three-day startup process where they learned to re-think their approach to business.
CineFestival is based out of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and began last week, running through Saturday.
"It’s been going for 36 years, so it’s the longest and original Latino film festival" said CineFestival Director Jim Mendiola. "First, it’s the only place in town you’ll see the latest and best independent Latino films and narratives and documentaries in one place. And it’s actually a place where you can actually meet the filmmakers because pretty much every major film that we show we bring the filmmakers in, so there’s a Q&A session afterwards."
There’s a unique training opportunity coming up for singers in San Antonio.
“I’m not sure there’s ever been a world music symposium in San Antonio before, so Benissimo Music is collaborating with Trinity University and we’re going to put on this wonderful two-day event" said Benissimo Music's Ruth Moreland.
Moreland said there will be master classes and they are bringing in Balkan music specialist Eva Salina Primack.