Charline McCombs Empire Theatre

226 N. St. Mary's Street,
San Antonio, TX 78205

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Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on September 3, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Wow! Thanks Joe. It’s amazing how different the inside is compared to its exterior. The outside is “fugly”! They need to graft the exterior of the old Texas Theatre around the corner onto the front of the Empire. Then you’d have one complete and fabulous movie palace! :–)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 2, 2012 at 12:37 am

Luis: There is a recent photo of the auditorium of the Empire Theatre on the main page of the Las Casas Foundation’s web site.

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on September 1, 2012 at 8:52 pm

I can confirm that this theater is still open and (on the outside at least) couldn’t be more drab and unpalacelike. :–) I also read on a historical plaque on Houston Street that the theater was made smaller during the renovation to allow the more important Majestic theater to expand their backstage operations. I’m really curious about what this theater actually looks like on the inside.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 28, 2011 at 10:02 am

The architectural firm responsible for the Empire Theatre was Mauran, Russell & Crowell (John Lawrence Mauran, Ernest John Russell, and William DeForrest Crowell.) Quite a few Internet sources give Crowell’s surname as Crowe, but reliable period sources such as Western Architect invariably say Crowell.

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on May 30, 2011 at 12:03 am

I’m a little confused by this theater. I was just reading a book on historic San Antonio buildings and it says that there were 2 theaters here and it was the smaller theater that was restored by Las Casas at a cost of $3.5MM. It also says that it seats just 800 people. As I peered through the lobby windows, the view couldn’t have been any plainer or drab for a supposed palace. I also didn’t see any upcoming events posted. If there are in fact 2 theaters, what happened to the other one? What is the status of that one? My reference is a picture book titled “San Antonio, Then and Now” by Paula Allen.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on March 15, 2009 at 8:45 pm

A live appearance by Roy Rogers at the Empire Theatre in 1943.

Do you think they liked Roy?

Too bad the name was changed to “Charline McCombs Empire Theatre and to what end?

NativeForestHiller on June 10, 2006 at 12:35 am

Bless all those involved in the restoration of a gem for the sake of art & architecture, culture, history, and society. What an inspiration for all generations to come!!! Please follow the footsteps!

dennis906 on March 26, 2006 at 11:38 am

WOW! Is this theatre in the Downtown S.A. area? If I ever get down to Texas I just may drop in and take a look at this historic theatre.

stowitts on January 19, 2004 at 4:05 am

Can you pleae post the date that Roy Rodgers appeared with Trigger on the stage of the Empire Theatre, in San Antonio, Texas. I was there in the audience, but was too young to remember the year, do you know when it was?