The Arneson River Theatre is located in downtown San Antonio, right on the Riverwalk. This open-air theater seats 800 and is in use throughout the year. The seating is on the south side of the river and the stage is on the north side.
Introduction to Arneson River Theatre
You may have seen it in the movie Miss Congeniality back in 2000 during the pageant scene. The photo below shows the seating side of the theater at night when no event is going on. You can see some people just sitting down, watching the river barges filled with visitors going by, shoppers passing, and the quiet green water of the San Antonio River flowing by in between barges.
This theater can be easily reached from La Villita, the little shopping village downtown that is filled with specialty shops and food, across from Hemisfair Park. Once you are finished shopping at La Villita, look for the sign that points the way to the Riverwalk and there will be the concrete and grass amphitheater. If nothing is going on, you can sit down and relax for a while, watching shoppers and river barges go by.
History of the Venue
A little history on the Arneson River Theatre…It was built back in 1939 and designed by an architect named Robert Hugman. It was named for Edwin Arneson, a man who was instrumental in securing funding for the Riverwalk. This theater was built as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Work Project Administration to put people back to work to end the Great Depression started in 1929. Interesting, huh?
Popular Events at Arneson River Theatre
At Christmas and Easter, there are special religious pageantries here. All throughout the year are concerts, plays, festivals, musicals, art shows, and many other events. Some are free and others cost money to get into. If you cannot buy a ticket, you can always stand nearby, along the Riverwalk and watch.
Unique Features of the Theatre
This unique theatre provides a variety of features that make it stand out from other local theatres. With its stunning outdoor seating, state-of-the-art sound system and breathtaking views of the San Antonio River, the Arneson River Theatre is an ideal spot for any event or performance.
One of the theatre’s most impressive features is its elevated stage that overlooks the river. The stage has been designed to provide performers with excellent acoustics for music performances, as well as great visibility for plays and other theatrical productions. In addition, its lighting system provides a dramatic setting day or night, making every performance a visually stunning experience.
The Arneson River Theatre also offers amenities such as restrooms and concessions stands that are conveniently located near the seating area.
Famous Performers Who Have Appeared at Arneson River Theatre
Over its long history, some of the biggest names have graced its stage – from Willie Nelson and Selena to Bette Midler and even Taylor Swift. It also serves as a home for many beloved shows such as The Book Of Mormon, Chicago: The Musical, and Cabaret. For those looking to experience something truly special while in San Antonio, look no further than Arneson River Theatre! Its incredible atmosphere makes it an unforgettable experience that will stay with you long after you leave.
Tips for Visiting the Theatre
A visit to the Arneson River Theatre can be a great way for theater lovers to explore the best San Antonio has to offer. Located in La Villita Historic Arts Village, this outdoor venue offers plenty of options for those looking for an entertaining evening out. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your visit:
First, arrive early and take some time for a leisurely stroll around the grounds. Not only will you get a chance to take in the beautiful setting of this historic village, but also have an opportunity to pick up snacks from one of several vendors in the area. Don’t forget that outside food and drinks are not allowed inside the theatre, so plan accordingly!
Next, check out show times and seating availability online before heading out – this will help ensure you get tickets before they sell out!