PHH Ventures Partners Lease Aztec Theater, with Plans to Redevelop It
- Dec 02, 2013
By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor
After successfully collaborating to transform Sam’s Burger Joint into a live music venue, Sam Panchevre and Keith Howerton, partners at PHH Ventures Entertainment L.L.C., have signed a multi-year lease with Baron Theodore Bracht for the 87-year-old historic Aztec Theater. The property, located at 201 E. Commerce St., will undergo renovations that will transform it into a concert venue capable of accommodating midsize touring acts.
The Aztec presents the design of Meyer & Holler, flaunting vibrantly colored columns, sculptures, furnishings and murals, some of them authentic reproductions of Meso-American artifacts. The interior is decorated with fixtures, furnishings, relief carvings, sculptures, plaques, painted symbols and architectural elements inspired by the Aztec, Mixtec, Zapotec, Toltec and Mayan cultures. The theater has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1992, which helped keep it safe from demolition. Baron Theodore Bracht purchased the building in 1998 and invested $20 million into its restoration in 2006.
The estimated budget for the redevelopment project is $2 million, which will increase the capacity from 1,700 seats to 2,000. “So many promoters, talent buyers and artists have talked to us about wanting to book shows that will draw 1,500 to 2,000 people. They can’t find the right venue in San Antonio,” Panchevre told the San Antonio Business Journal.
Aside from readjusting the seating configuration, the renovation will include new concert lighting and sound, along with a new bar. The project is scheduled to be finalized by mid-January 2014.
Photo courtesy of Aztec on the River.