Day Trips: The Majestic Theatre

Take the majestic tour


Photos by Gerald E. McLeod

Majestic Theatre Happy Hour Tours in San Antonio take a deep dive behind the scenes of the grand entertainment palace. Built in 1929, when theatres were full-immersion experiences, the Majestic lives up to its name.

John Eberson designed the Majestic and is credited as the most successful architect of the atmospheric style of theatres. Eberson's ornate playhouses transport patrons to another world. He also created Austin's Paramount The­atre (originally called the Majestic) and 100 other theatres including ones in Fort Worth, Dallas, and Houston.


Led by senior ushers, the tours highlight the features that separate the theatre from its modern cousins. In the 2,311-seat auditorium, colored lights accent the balconies, niches, arches, spires, and statuary.

Eberson's design gives the impression of entering a lavish Spanish villa. One wall is the outside of the villa; the other side is the interior. A stuffed white peacock peers from one side and a blue peacock perches on the other. 

The tour may be your best chance to walk across the stage that has hosted a constellation of stars. From there, you descend to the backstage area below the stage. The walls are a gallery of autographs and billboards from past performers and Broadway shows.


The Majestic was once the second largest theatre in the nation and was the first air-conditioned theatre in Texas. It's still one of the most beautiful auditoriums in the country.

The Majestic Theatre is at 224 E. Houston St. in San Antonio. The Happy Hour Tours are twice a month on Mondays at 5pm and 6pm. Upcoming tours are Aug. 12 & 26 and Sept. 9 & 23. For information, call 210/226-5700 or go to www.majesticempire.com


1,461st in a series. Follow “Day Trips & Beyond,” a travel blog, at austinchronicle.com/daily/travel.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Majestic Theatre Happy Hour Tours, San Antonio, John Eberson, Paramount Theatre

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