City asks for help in identifying people in photo who saved KiMo Theatre


The historic downtown KiMo Theatre was almost torn down decades ago. Now, the city is trying to find the people who saved it.

“I love the KiMo,” said local Virginia Ramirez. “I use to come here a lot back in the day. I was always here.”

Albuquerque locals are quite familiar with the grand theater. The KiMo was built in 1927 and privately owned for the next 50 years.

“It still is a very viable part of downtown and there are a lot of people for whom, their first theater experience may have been at this very building,” said Cultural Services Department Larry Parker.

In the 1970s, a fire destroyed most of the theater while there was also a mass exodus of people leaving downtown to live elsewhere.

The KiMo was going to be torn down, but the people of Albuquerque spoke out and voted for the city to buy the theater in 1977.

A photograph was taken to celebrate the victory.

“And this is the photograph,” said Parker.

The city said it features this photo often to show what the theater’s facade looked like in the ’70s, but recently, the city got to wondering: who are these people?

“We have this wonderful photograph from 1977,” said Parker holding the photo. “Five individuals are standing in front of the KiMo Theatre saying, ‘thank you Albuquerque for saving the KiMo Theatre.’ We’re just curious if anyone can help us identify who these great five people are.” 

Here’s why the city said these five could be an important part of history:

“These were part of the volunteers that worked on the campaign to convince the taxpayers to buy the KiMo,” said Parker. “I just think it’s important to thank them that 41 years later, we appreciate their hard work.” 

The city posted on social media asking for the community’s help.

“I think that would be awesome,” said Ramirez. “They could find the people that you know, have history on that.”

KRQE News 13 asked what would be next if the city found those people and the city replied: “thank them.”

The image was posted Wednesday night on Facebook, but so far no one has come forward.

The KiMo Theatre still hosts a variety of performances like concerts, ballets and plays.

If you know who those people are, contact Albuquerque’s Cultural Services Department.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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