Woodlawn Theatre

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Woodlawn Theatre
Woodlawn Theater logo, San Antonio, TX.jpg
Woodlawn Theatre Logo
Address1920 Fredericksburg Rd
San Antonio, Texas 78201-4439
United States
Owner1920 Woodlawn Partners, LLC
OperatorWoodlawn Theatre Inc
DesignationCity of San Antonio Historic Landmark
Current usecommunity theatre
OpenedAugust 17, 1945 (1945-08-17)
ReopenedSeptember 6, 2006 (2006-09-06)
Rebuilt2006, 2012
ArchitectJohn Eberson
Venue Website

The Woodlawn Theatre is located in San Antonio, Texas, and is one of the few theaters remaining designed by architect John Eberson. Eberson also designed the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio. The Woodlawn Theatre is designed in an art deco fashion, and was previously a prevalent movie theater, including hosting the world premiere of The Alamo in 1960. As of 2012, it is located in an area of San Antonio featuring buildings designed in art deco fashion known as the Deco District.[1]


An exterior photo of the Woodlawn Theatre, taken July 4, 2009

The Woodlawn Theatre opened August 17, 1945 as an elegant venue for Hollywood films.[2] In 1960, John Wayne hosted the world premiere of his film The Alamo at the Woodlawn.[3][4] It continued to be an active movie house through the 1960s and 1970s, and was purchased by Santikos Theatres in 1975, but it eventually was forced to shut down.[5] The building remained vacant and slowly deteriorated for a number of years, falling through the hands of many tenants, mostly small theater groups. In 1979, an acting group known as San Antonio Theater Center was housed there.[6] In 1986, the Woodlawn premiered the laser-show tribute to Pink Floyd,[7] while hosting a series of jazz and blues concerts. In 2005, the last temporary tenant, known as Actors Theater of San Antonio, vacated the property.[6]

In 2006, Jonathan Pennington began leasing the property under the production company name Amphisphere Theatre Productions.[6] With support from the local community, Pennington completely revamped and rebuilt major portions of the Woodlawn Theatre, turning it into a community theatre stage and hosting a number of Broadway-style shows.[8] The Woodlawn Theatre continued to host mostly musical theatre productions during Pennington's tenure, and the production company was eventually renamed to Pennington Productions.[9]

In January 2012, Woodlawn Theatre Inc was formed and took primary residency in Woodlawn Theatre. The building was then owned by Kurt and Sherry Wehner,[10] but in May 2018 was sold to 1920 Woodlawn Partners, a limited liability company.[11] The Woodlawn Theatre's footprint expanded into an adjoining space which became a black box theater, and in 2014, that space became the home of the Classic Theatre of San Antonio.[12][13] The neon marquee was restored in 2012 with the help of city funding,[14] the lobby has been completely restored, and work continues on the outside of the building. The theater continues to showcase live theatrical productions with an emphasis on musical theatre.

In 2013, Woodlawn Theatre was designated a City of San Antonio Historic Landmark.[15][16]


  1. ^ "Welcome - Deco District". Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  2. ^ "Woodlawn Theatre". The Paisano. The Paisano Educational Trust. November 19, 2012. Archived from the original on November 7, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  3. ^ "Woodlawn Theatre - San Antonio". Arts America. February 22, 1999. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  4. ^ Allen, Paula (October 7, 2017). "Woodlawn theater made big changes to show 'The Alamo'". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  5. ^ "History". Woodlawn Theatre. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c Sanchez, Sandra Lowe (September 17, 2006). "Putting dreams into action - San Antonio Business Journal". Bizjournals.com. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  7. ^ "Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular schedule, dates, events, and tickets". AXS.com. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  8. ^ Nicholas, Benjamin (September 19, 2006). "Woodlawn Paradiso". sacurrent.com. Archived from the original on December 1, 2016. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  9. ^ Edwards, Trudy (November 22, 2011). "Pennington Productions True San Antonio Life". truesanantoniolife.wordpress.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  10. ^ Martin, Deborah (January 12, 2012). "Woodlawn Theatre Partnership Dissolving". San Antonio Express-News. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  11. ^ Martin, Deborah (May 15, 2018). "Woodlawn Theatre block has new ownership". San Antonio Express-News. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  12. ^ "The Classic Theatre of San Antonio". Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  13. ^ Martin, Deborah (August 7, 2013). "Local arts scene moving and growing". San Antonio Express-News. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  14. ^ Lloyd, Ryan (October 20, 2012). "A 'sign' of neighborhood revitalization at Woodlawn Theatre". KSAT-TV.
  15. ^ "City of San Antonio Official Website - Historic Preservation". Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  16. ^ "City of San Antonio Designated Local Historic Landmarks" (PDF). Retrieved November 13, 2017.