San Antonio Theatres:
Now & Then
Past & Present

“I asked veteran movie critic Bob Polunsky to comment on the the downtown theatres. This is part of his reply."

"You mentioned the Majestic, Aztec and Alameda. I hope you included the fact that the original San Antonio "Majestic Theater" was a smaller theater that was re-named the State and was on Main Ave. across the street from Wolff & Marx. The Majestic that stands today opened around 1929 and has a great history. I'm aware of some of it including the aquarium, artesian well spring on the second floor, the 2nd balcony and separate entrance to it because it was reserved for black audiences during segregatioin and the naked lady statue in the foyer. It was also where many "live shows" with celebrities were scheduled along with a Halloween Show with "The Frankenstein Monster" on stage that went out into the audience and they turned all the lights off.

The Aztec did not have a concession stand of its own originally. The Queen Candy Company was right next door. The Texas Theater was a first for stage productions and I used to usher at them.

The Alameda was the third Spanish language movie house in downtown San Antonio. The Nacional and Zaragoza were downtown first. Don't forget the Joy, the Prince, the State (Old Majestic Theater), Palace, Empire duiring the talkie era. My aunt was a model who modeled clothes on the Empire Theater stage during the silent movie days. The Empire was also originally a vaudeville theater.

Boy, do you take me back. It's fun to remember some of  these things.

Bob Polunsky"

Website Builder