Not long ago, my husband and I visited good friends, Glen and Beverly Muenchow, where I had not only enjoyed a great visit, but got to do something special. Beverly and I went to see Into the Woods, a play showing at the Woodlawn Theater in downtown San Antonio, Texas. It’s been a long time since I drove that far into the city where I grew up and even longer since I’ve been to that particular movie theater. Since then it’s undergone major changes.
Woodlawn Theatre originally opened in 1946. It was designed by John Eberson. Many of Eberson’s projects, some executed with his son Drew, were in the Art Deco style. He designed close to 100 movie palaces, located in dozens of states in the United States. Others can be found in Mexico City, Mexico as well as in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne, Australia.
The legendary John Wayne hosted the world premiere of his movie The Alamo at the Woodlawn in 1960. In later years, the theater fell on hard times and was forced to shut down. It suffered many years on life support with multiple owners attempting to restore it to its former glory. But now, the theatrical resurrection of the Woodlawn Theatre as a live performance venue is well underway. In 2013, The Woodlawn Theatre was honored with the official title City of San Antonio Historic Structure.
I can’t say how thrilled I was to have this unique experience. And even more so, it makes me happy to see one of these nostalgic movie theaters rescued from becoming a thing of the past.