ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – After almost two years of being closed, the iconic KiMo Theatre in the heart of downtown, is finally ready to welcome guests back. On Jan. 12, the historic theater doors will once again reopen and the public is sure to notice some improvements.

“We’re really excited, we’ve been here two years and so to be able to open the doors back to the community after this long closure we are just thrilled,” said Albuquerque’s Arts and Culture Community Events Division Manager, Bree Ortiz.

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The COVID-19 pandemic left its impact on many businesses, including the nearly 100-year-old KiMo Theatre, which opened its doors in 1927. The last time theater patrons were able to enjoy a performance was back in March 2020 before the pandemic shutdown. While the theater was closed to guests, the city looked at it as the perfect opportunity to give the building a facelift.

“We took the past two years to give the KiMo a little love. We have renovated, updated, painted. We renovated all four dressing rooms. We have seven new roofs on the KiMo; new HVAC’s; we’ve cleaned, we’ve moved the box office and we turned the old box office into a new event space,” said Ortiz.

On top of all of those renovations, the theater will also feature a state-of-the-art projector, brand new stage flooring, and even feature local artists’ work. Ortiz says it’s taken a lot of manpower to get to this point. “It’s taken all of our community events division staff along with DMT facilities and other facilities and other city departments to really make sure that we are ready to open,” Ortiz said.

She says she hopes people can continue to enjoy the iconic theater for years to come.

“The KiMo is generational, we all came here as kids for field trips and as adults for events that’s continuing. So for people to come to the KiMo to just come back there’s so many things that the KiMo has to offer and bring their kids here and have the generations keep loving the KiMo as we have,” said Ortiz.

The renovations cost about $700,000 and came out of existing city money and Ortiz says they did not go over budget. The first event is scheduled is called “Mapping Indigenous Poetry.” In-person tickets are sold out but online ticket sales are coming soon.