The Public Theater of San Antonio

800 W Ashby Pl, San Antonio, TX 78212

(210) 733-7258


Located in San Pedro Springs Park, the second oldest park in the United States, The San Pedro Playhouse has been a historical landmark since its opening in 1929. Situated just north of downtown San Antonio, the Playhouse includes two performance spaces: the Russell Hill Rogers Theater, seating 350, and the intimate Cellar Theater, accommodating 60. It houses The Public Theater of San Antonio, an organization dedicated to producing dynamic, professional theater and arts programming aimed at enriching the local community.

Here are key features and history about the Playhouse:

  • It features a Greek Revival-style facade, a replication of the Old Market House built in 1858. After the Old Market House was razed, architects painstakingly reproduced the original facade from old photographs and broken pieces.

  • The first community theater group in the Playhouse, dating back to the San Antonio Dramatic Club founded by Sarah Barton Bindley in 1912, had deep theatrical roots.

  • The Playhouse faced multiple historical trials, from threatened shut-downs on opening night to a temporary closure during World War II. Despite these obstacles, the theater has remained a constant presence in the local arts scene.

  • Directors have had a profound impact on the theater's evolution, especially Joe Salek, who led efforts to reclaim the Playhouse for the San Antonio Little Theatre after World War II. His initiatives included a drama school, a monthly newsletter, and experimental productions.

  • The Playhouse underwent significant renovations in 2000, with updates to the stage lighting, audio, and rigging systems, as well as refurbishment of the seats and a facelift for the theatre and lobby.

  • The Playhouse is renowned for its high-quality performances, featuring local volunteers in everything from top-notch plays and musicals to smaller, experimental productions. Its productions have garnered numerous theater awards and have been performed internationally.

Now the longest running and most successful live theater in San Antonio, The San Pedro Playhouse depends heavily on individual and corporate patrons for its continued operation, inviting generous donations and support from the public. Its rich history, impressive architectural features, and dedication to the community make it a unique part of San Antonio's cultural and economic fabric.