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KiMo Theatre Celebrates 95 Years With Free Party

Historic landmark opened in 1927.

September 16, 2022 - The historic KiMo Theatre has hosted special events and joyous celebrations for more than nine decades, with big names such as Vivian Vance and Bob Odenkirk gracing the stage. On September 21, the KiMo itself will be the star as the landmark celebrates its 95th birthday by hosting a party from 4 to 7 p.m. 

This free event is open to the public, no RSVPs required.

During the party, visitors can enjoy self-guided tours to learn about the theater's history, live music by the Burque Jazz Bandits, eats and treats from local vendors, and local beer and cocktails.

The KiMo Theatre, built in the Pueblo Deco style, opened on September 19, 1927. Pueblo Deco was a flamboyant, short-lived architectural style that fused the spirit of the Native American cultures of the Southwest with the exuberance of Art Deco.

The genius behind the KiMo was Oreste Bachechi, a motivated entrepreneur from humble origins. Oreste Bachechi came to the United States in 1885 and set up a business in a tent near the railroad tracks in Albuquerque.

Bachechi's fortunes expanded with the city's growth; he became a liquor dealer and proprietor of a grocery store while his wife Maria ran a dry goods store in the Elms Hotel. By 1919, the Bachechi Amusement Association operated the Pastime Theatre with Joe Barnett. In 1925, Oreste Bachechi decided to achieve "an ambition, a dream that has been long in realization," by building his own theater, one that would stand out among the Greek temples and Chinese pavilions of contemporary movie mania.

Bachechi envisioned a unique, Southwestern style theater, and hired Carl Boller of the Boller Brothers to design it. The Bollers had designed a Wild West-Rococo-style theater in San Antonio and a Spanish cathedral with Greco-Babylonian interior in St. Joseph, Missouri.