Hosting everything from big concerts to theater performances, dance troupes and international film screenings, Guanajuato's theaters comprise a very important and historic part of its cultural scene.
The city's most prestigious theater is the Teatro Juárez, a lavish turn-of-the-century construction with a jam-packed schedule of diverse performances. The theater isn't hard to find, as the massive structure sits on the southeastern corner of the Jardín de la Unión- the social hub of Guanajuato.
Even if you're not planning to take in a performance, the Teatro Juárez is well worth a visit. The theater was inaugurated in 1903 by then-dictator Profirio Díaz, who was known for his decidedly lavish tastes. One look at the plush velvet seats, the gilded interior and the Moorish-influenced lobby - a stunning space of carved wood, precious metals and elaborate stained glass - and it's not hard to see why he felt right at home.
The exterior of the Teatro Juárez is every bit as detail-oriented as its interior. Boasting wrought-iron lampposts, massive columns, and classic age-influenced statues, it's no wonder that the theater is the subject of so many photos and postcards! The steps of the theater, which look out on the bustling Jardín de la Unión, are a popular spot to relax and people-watch.
Guanajuato boasts two more important theaters, neither of which is located far from the Teatro Juárez. The first, the Teatro Principal (Hidalgo, s/n; 732-15-23), was actually Guanajuato's only theater for years. Due to historical circumstances, the theater has been abandoned and subsequently restored several times over the course of its more than two centuries of history. In fact, after being converted into a movie house, the original structure actually burned to the ground. A new one was built in 1955, however, and since then the theater has enjoyed an active cultural scene run by the University of Guanajuato.
Another of Guanajuato's historic venues is the Teatro Cervantes, a small stone structure located in the Plaza de Allende. Like the Teatro Juárez and the Teatro Principal, the Teatro Cervantes hosts a variety of performances and film screenings and all three are venues during the annual International Cervantino Festival.