Arneson River Theatre

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.

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.

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.

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?


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