ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – One of Albuquerque’s oldest theaters is getting a facelift and a new lease on life. The Lobo Theater in Nob Hill is being turned into a concert venue. The theater opened back in 1938. After being closed for the past year due to the pandemic, the owner said it’s time to bring it back to life. 

Lobo Theater (unknown date) | Courtesy Richard Rivas

“Just finding the stuff that’s in here, and utilizing it, and putting it in and bringing it back to kind of that 1940’s theme, just the thought process, it’s been exciting, it’s been fun, it means a lot,” said J. Richard Rivas, the owner of the soon-to-be-named Lobo Lounge & Event Center. “It’s basically a dream.”  

The Lobo Theater was a movie theatre for decades before it was turned into a church back in 2000. However, during the pandemic it was vacant. Rivas said the idea to turn this historic building into a bar and event center was just brought up a few months ago and they’ve been working since, to bring that idea to life.

Rivas hopes to maintain the building’s classic vibes while adding a modern twist that includes new lights and a new sound system. Rivas is optimistic it will help reinvigorate the neighborhood. “It’s all about working together, bringing music back, bringing food, breweries, and all the local venues that are around here to bring Nob Hill back,” said Rivas.    

He said they still plan on allowing church services on Sunday like he did before the pandemic hit. The grand opening is set for August 19. They plan on announcing the bands that will be performing closer to their opening.