Published on Thursday, August 31, 2017

City of San Antonio approves a funding and development agreement to restore the historic Alameda Theater

Contact: Kelly Kapaun Saunders, Office: (210) 207-8031, Cell: (913) 908-3375

SAN ANTONIO (August 31, 2017) — The San Antonio City Council formally authorized an agreement among the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, the Alameda Theater Conservancy, and Texas Public Radio (TPR) to renovate the historic Alameda Theater in downtown San Antonio. 

The Alameda was completed in 1949 as a Mexican-American entertainment venue. The theater featured performances by major artists from throughout the United States, Spain, Mexico and other Latin American countries. In 1994, the City of San Antonio acquired the property.

For the past two years, the City of San Antonio and Bexar County have worked with TPR and La Familia Cortez on a concept that would relocate TPR’s headquarters to downtown and restore and reopen the Theater.

The partners held various public briefings and community meetings, and met with individual stakeholders to gather input on the proposed plans for the Alameda Theater. Public input indicated that there is a desire for diverse programming options, with Spanish language programming, and community engagement opportunities.

The partners created the Alameda Theater Conservancy in May 2017 to operate and program the Alameda Theater. This new nonprofit will have a dedicated staff and board to oversee design, construction and programming for the project, and it will engage the community in fundraising efforts to support the Theater and its operation. The initial board includes representatives from the City, County, TPR, and La Familia Cortez. 

The $23 million project is funded by the City, County, and TPR.  The City and County will provide $9 million each for the capital project through the Houston Street Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone and TPR will provide $5 million. 

“I cannot stress enough how critical it is to preserve culturally significant spaces like the Alameda as they help tell the rich story of our city and serve as reminders and inspiration to future generations,” said District 1 City Councilman Roberto C. Treviño. “This joint investment would not be possible without the partnership between the La Familia Cortez, the City, the County, and Texas Public Radio.” 

“The Alameda Theater is an ideal location to house our growing staff and make TPR more visible to our community,” said Joyce Slocum, TPR President and CEO. “We want to continue to enhance community engagement and increase local programing that celebrates the history and culture of our city and region.” 

“Bexar County has invested heavily in laying the groundwork for this iconic facility,” said Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo, Precinct 2. “We look forward to restoring and reinvigorating this cultural treasure.” 

"La Familia Cortez has been a longtime supporter of Zona Cultural, and the revitalization of the historic Alameda Theater is the crown jewel of this Texas Commission of Arts cultural district,” said Pete Cortez of La Familia Cortez Restaurants.  "We have supported the Alameda and the need for Spanish language programming for over three decades, and we are proud to continue to support and preserve this cultural icon for future generations."

The City’s Office of Historic Preservation is collecting stories, photographs and other memorabilia for a future exhibit celebrating the history of the Alameda Theater. The partners would like to thank the Westside Preservation Alliance and the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center for their support and assistance throughout the community engagement process. For more information, or to contribute your story, please click here.

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