Museo Alameda

Museo AlamedaThis bright pink edifice erected in 1949 by legendary San Antonio cowboy boot maker, Tano Lucchese, started life as the largest movie palace in the United States dedicated to Spanish language entertainment. Lucchese saw much more than a mere theater however. In his mind it was to be “…a permanent symbol of good faith and understanding between the Latin American and Anglo American where they might share and recognize two different cultures.”

By the early 90’s the theater, due to disuse, had fallen into disrepair and Luccheses dream was in jeopardy. During this time, a group of San Antonio residents, seeing the Alamedas’ potential as an important symbol of the Latino communities’ contributions to the culture of our county, started a movement to save the property.

Recognizing the group’s efforts the City of San Antonio donated the property as well as the seed funds to start a redevelopment campaign. This effort got the attention of some large corporations, and with their help the building was rejuvenated. In 1996 it was rededicated as the Museo Alameda. That same year many other exciting developments gave life to Tano Lucchese original vision, including the announcement that designated the Museo Alameda as the first affiliate of the famed Smithsonian Institution outside of Washington, DC which also served to usher in the Smithsonian Institutes affiliate program.

Museo Alameda was also established as the official state Latino museum by a joint effort of the state legislature and then Governor, George W Busch. Soon thereafter a groundbreaking partnership was formed with the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Museo Alameda continues to be a leader in bringing the Latino Culture in America into focus. Its exhibits, both permanent and special, give voice to the immeasurable contributions that Latino community has made to the southwest and to America itself.