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Rio Grande Theatre
211 N. Main Street Las Cruces

Outside, in addition to the stucco and metal screen façade being removed and the original design work restored, both the sign and the ticket booth were recreated from original drawings and pictures. Inside, a backstage area was built, extending beyond the original adobe wall, just behind the back drapes, to include dressing rooms, bathrooms, an upstairs green room and a loading dock. Efforts by local artisans also helped bring the theater back to its former glory. The original bas-relief decorations on the outside of the building were reconstructed and painted by noted artist Stephen Hansen, the frescoes on the inside of the auditorium were restored by El Paso artist Alex Rosa and missing tiles on the outside pillars were painstakingly recreated by public artist Glenn Schwaiger. Now a 426-seat, state-of-the-art performing arts facility, the theater is home to the Doña Ana Arts Council’s administrative offices, while also providing a venue for local and touring performing arts groups. In 2001, the Rio Grande Theatre was selected by the New Mexico Heritage Preservation alliance as one of the “most endangered historic places” in the state. Today, the building is listed on the State Register of Cultural Properties and the National Registry of Historic Places. The only restored two-story adobe theater in the country, the Rio Grande Theatre is a continuing recipient of significant cultural and community awards, making it a jewel in the crown of downtown Las Cruces.