Majestic Theatre, San Antonio

Majestic Theatre, San Antonio (must see)

The Majestic Theatre is San Antonio's oldest and largest atmospheric theatre. Designed by architect John Eberson, for Karl Hoblitzelle's Interstate Theatres in 1929, it seats 2,264 people. In 1975, the theatre was listed on the National Register of Historical Places and was designated a Texas Historic Landmark in 1991, followed by a National Historic Landmark on April 19, 1993.

Its opening on June 14, 1929, in many ways symbolized a progressiveness with which San Antonio wished to identify. It was the first theatre in Texas to be fully air-conditioned, which alone was a major attraction in the 1920s South, and, for many years, it remained the state's largest theatre and the second largest in the United States, after Atlanta, Georgia's Fox Theatre. Between 1989 and 2014, the Majestic was home to the San Antonio Symphony.

Among other features, the building boasted a huge cast-iron canopy covering the sidewalk, a vertical sign 76-feet tall topped with "a strutting peacock ... walking as a huge ball rotated under his feet," and a cave-like single-story lobby that included copper lanterns, ceiling murals, and an aquarium filled with tropical fish. Inside the theatre's auditorium were stuffed birds perched on balconies or frozen mid-flight via ceiling wire, replicas of well-known Greek, Roman, and Renaissance sculptures, and specially treated cypress trees brought from Spain and placed on upper-level niches.

In January 2017, the Majestic replaced the white peacock, which had tarnished gray and become "decrepit" over the years, with a new one purchased for $3,600 from Joel Donahue, a California taxidermist. There are 27 other stuffed birds in the theatre, including a second, less ostentatious peacock on the opposite side of the new addition. At the Majestic grand opening in 1929, the facility was billed as having "one of the largest collections of stuffed birds in Texas," including a large white peacock. Later in 2017, the theatre hosted the San Antonio portions of Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

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Majestic Theatre on Map

Sight Name: Majestic Theatre
Sight Location: San Antonio, USA (See walking tours in San Antonio)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in San Antonio, Texas

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