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Encyclopedia > Lensic Theater

The Lensic Theater, located at 211 West San Francisco Street in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is an 821 seat theater designed by Boller Brothers of Kansas City, well known movie theater and vaudeville house architects who designed almost one hundred theaters throughout the West and mid-West, including the KiMo Theater in Albuquerque. The pseudo-Moorish, Spanish Renaissance Lensic was build by Nathan Salmon and E. John Greer and opened on 24 June 1931. Its name derives from the initials of Greer's six grandchildren. Flag Seal Nickname: The City Different Location Location in the State of New Mexico Coordinates , Government Country State County United States New Mexico Santa Fe Founded 1607 Mayor David Coss Geographical characteristics Area     City 96. ... The KiMo Theater. ... This article is about the largest city of New Mexico. ...

The Lensic was completely restored and renovated between 1999 and 2001, and provides Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico with a modern venue for the performing arts.


Early Years

The Lensic was a centerpiece of Santa Fe movie and vaudeville entertainment from the 1930's through the 1960's and was graced by regular appearances by well-known stars including Rita Hayworth, Roy Rogers, Judy Garland, Errol Flynn, Ronald Reagan, and Yehudi Menuhin. Gilda DVD cover Rita Hayworth (October 17, 1918 – May 14, 1987), was an American actress of Spanish and English descent who reached fame during the 1940s as the eras leading sex symbol. ... Dale Evans & Roy Rogers Leonard Franklin Slye (November 5, 1911 – July 6, 1998), became famous as Roy Rogers, a singer and cowboy actor. ... Judy Garland (June 10, 1922 – June 22, 1969), born Frances Ethel Gumm, was an American film actress considered by many to be one of the greatest singing stars of Hollywoods Golden Era of musical film. ... Errol Flynn as Robin Hood, one of his most famous roles Errol Leslie Thomson Flynn (June 20, 1909 – October 14, 1959) was an Australian film actor, most famous for his romantic swashbuckler roles. ... Ronald Wilson Reagan, (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981–1989) and the 33rd Governor of California (1967–1975). ... Yehudi Menuhin album cover Yehudi Menuhin, Baron Menuhin, OM, KBE (April 22, 1916 – March 12, 1999) was a Jewish-born, American violinist and conductor who spent most of his performing career in the United Kingdom and eventually became a British citizen. ...

Decline and Restoration

Like many classic theaters in the US, the Lensic did not escape decline and deterioration. By end of the 1990's, the Lensic was outdated and used only sporadically. From about 1998, the non-profit Lensic Performing Arts Center began raising money to fund the needed restoration project and, in December 2000, the National Trust for Historic Preservation recognized the Lensic as an official project of Save America's Treasures. In April 2001, restoration and renovation of the Lensic was completed. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is an American member-supported organization which was founded in 1949 to support preservation of historic buildings and neighborhoods through a range of programs and activities. ...

A primary goal of the renovation was to provide a superior performance venue for music and dramatic productions. The rear wall was removed to increase the depth of the stage house and the installation of advanced lighting and sound systems allowed the restored Lensic to meet that goal. The unique architectural and ornamental details were painstakingly restored. The total cost of the renovation was approximately $9 million.

Today the Lensic is the major performance venue in Santa Fe and is used by the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, the Santa Fe Short Story Festival, and the Santa Fe Concert Association (which sponsors a variety of solo and concert events, as well as its own symphony concerts). In addition, it functions as the location for ballet and lectures, for touring companies, and is still the venue for the screening of classic films on an occasional basis.


  • Stage Dimensions
    • Height: 22 ft. / 6.7 m
    • Width: 40 ft. / 12.2 m
    • Depth: up to 40 ft. / 12.2 m
  • Seating Capacity
    • Orchestra: 504 (max)
    • Balcony: 317

External links

  • The Lensic, Santa Fe's Performing Arts Center
  • Save America's Treasures
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Boller Brothers Theaters



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