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While backstage during the recent dress rehearsal of Ballet San Antonio‘s production of The Nutcracker, I ventured downstairs into the dressing room area of the Majestic Theatre. What I saw immediately grabbed my attention – the walls are covered with murals painted and drawn by traveling artists.
Bands, solo musicians, theatre productions and dance companies are all represented. Autographs can be found everywhere, on the murals themselves and tucked between them. Gordon Lightfoot, Sting, Robert Goulet, Jon Anderson, Carol Channing … from the stars themselves to the hardworking crew members, the list goes on and on.
The Majestic was originally built in 1929 as a movie house, which was shuttered “forever” in 1974. However, it reopened a couple of years later as a performing arts venue. But it was old and tired by then.
The faded lady needed to get her sparkle back. In the late 1980s a $4.5 million restoration was undertaken by Las Casas Foundation. The Majestic officially reopened in 1989 as the home of the San Antonio Symphony and host to touring performance art shows.
The murals themselves seem to have started appearing around 1990, and although the area below the stage is fairly large, space is starting to run out.
But these murals are being done by creative types – they will not be deterred. Newer murals can be found in stairwells and other nooks and crannies throughout this underground labyrinth.
It is a veritable feast for the eyes — all hidden from public view. Here’s a photo gallery for you to enjoy:
Page Graham has been a resident of San Antonio – on and off – for over 30 years now. He has moved into the corporate world, making a living developing training materials and Powerpoint presentations and all that stuff we need to do in order to make a living. But now he’s back – aqui en el corazón de San Antonio – enjoying life to its fullest. The Rivard Report is one place you can follow his trail, as is www.artblogsa.com.