Arneson River Theater in San Antonio

The Arneson River Theater in San Antonio is an open-air theatre that is frequently used for various stage productions such as concerts and plays. The theatre is located in the historical La Villita area, a neighborhood loaded with arts, culture, and various entertainment. Different festivals, art shows, and fundraising events take place in the area and often use the Arneson River Theater as a facility to hold a portion of the events. The La Villita Historic Arts Village is located close to downtown San Antonio. It is adjacent to the Hilton Palacio Del Rio Hotel and is one of San Antonio's secret gems. The theatre is in a beautiful setting with several tiers of seats; there are exactly thirteen rows that are covered in grass. The proximity of the seats to the stage give theatre-goers an excellent view of all the performances that take place at Arneson River Theater. The seating and stage is separated by a tranquil river that flows through the middle and provides a laid-back and relaxing atmosphere. The stage is located on the north side of the river and the grassy steps are situated on the south side. The river that flows through the middle of the theater also provides great acoustics for the performers at the theater. The river division also keeps performances in full clear view without the distraction of tourists or visitors passing in front of the stage.

The Arneson River Theater in San Antonio was established in 1939 by the Works Project Administration. The Work Projects Administration was erected by Franklin D. Roosevelt as a way to employ construction workers during the great depression. Arneson River Theater has a long history of providing entertainment to a variety of audiences. The theatre was even featured in a 2000 comedy film called Miss Congeniality. The theatre is mostly frequented during the summer months when temperatures create a pleasant environment for locals and tourists to gather for the performances. Performance schedules are sporadic and can include everything from a cultural Tejano to the Opera. There is a nice variety of performers that can be discovered at the theatre. During the months of June and July a Folkloric Troupe takes the stage every Tuesday and Thursday with bright upbeat music. Plays and other productions are also held at the Arneson River Theater.

The Arneson River Theater has the capacity to seat eight hundred to one thousand people who are interested in the culture that the theatre provides. Locals and visitors also have the capacity to hire the venue to stage performances. The theatre can be rented to the public for multiple uses. Some locals choose to use the events for weddings and parties. Additional facilities are located at the theatre that can provide concessions such as food, beverages, and washrooms to those participating in an event. Overall, the Arneson River Theater is a beautiful and historic theatre that has been serving the San Antonio community since the Great Depression damaged the country economically. The Arneson River Theater promotes economic growth in San Antonio by attracting thousands of tourists to the city each year.

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Dec 19, 2010 @ 11:11 am
My late father Peyton G Cooper had his first job out of school working for R. Hugmanand designed the artisan theater and the connecting bridge now called Rositas bridge.
The arch under the bridge was designed with individual stones versus the later copies which are constructed with concrete.
The bridge still stands.
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Nov 1, 2012 @ 11:23 pm
The Calendar of Events for the Arneson River Theater can be found at:
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Jul 27, 2013 @ 6:18 pm
As a union local musician for many years in SA, I played at the Arenson from 1971-to early 2000..
with Mateo Carmargo,Felix Solis, Ramirio Cervera, Lisa Lopez, Continental Orchestra and many other bands..I recall the musicians union used to book us as projects to play there for the people of SA and for tourist..the union funded all cost..Fatz Gonzales was the musicians local president for many years..
in return the city would book us for parks and recreation project gigs all over the city..
during the Fiesta etc..I recall playing afternoons with bands at the hemisphere plaza "The Goliad Cluster" where they had food and dancing outdoors,,next to the tower ..then we'd finish and rush to do a gig at the Areneson that night..great gigs ..great times...and there was no charge to the public for the music...we always had hundreds of people at these events..many many familes attended...

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