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Hidalgo County Herald
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October 8, 2010     Hidalgo County Herald
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14 HIDALGO COUNTY HERALD .~. ,t FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8 20~ rvatio News The genius behind the historic KiMo Theatre in Albuquerque The KiMo Theatre, a Pueblo Deco picture palace, 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. Pueblo Deco appeared at a time when movie-mad communities were constructing film palaces based on exotic models such as Moorish mosques and Chinese pavilions. Native American motifs ap- peared in only a handful of the- aters: of those few. the KiMo is the undisputed king. Oreste Baeheehi 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 rail- road tracks in Albuquerque. Bachechi's fortunes ex- panded with the city's growth: he became a liquor dealer and pro- prietor of a g~ocery store while his wife Maria ran, a dry goods "store in the Elms Hotel. By 1919, the Bachechi Amusement Asso- ciation operated the Pastime The- atre 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 ]nd Chinese pavilions of contemporary movie mama. Bachechi envisioned a unique. Southwest- ern style theater, and hired Carl Boller of the Boiler Brothers INCLUDEPICTURE "http:// www.cabq.gov/kimo/about- the- theater/globe: gif" \* MERGEFORMATINET to de- sign it. The Boilers had designed a Wild West-Rococo-style theater in San Antonio and a Spanish ca- thedral cum Greco-Babylonian interior in St. Joseph, Missouri. Pueblo Influence Carl Boiler traveled through- out New Mexico, visiting the pueblos of Acoma and Isleta. and the Navajo Nation. After months of research, Carl Boiler submit- ted a watercolor rendering that pleased Oreste Bachechi. The interior was to include plaster ceiling beams textured to look like logs and painted with dance and hunt scenes, air vents disguised as Navajo rugs, chan- deliers shaped like war drums and- Native American funeral canoes. wrought iron birds descending the stairs and rows of garlanded buffalo, skulls with eerie, glow- ing amber eyes. None of the designs were chosen at random. Each of the myriad images of rain clouds, birds and swastikas had histori- cal significance. The Navajo swastika is a symbol for life, free- dom and happiness. Like its abstract symbols. color, too. was part of the Indian vocabulary~. Yellow repre- sents the life- giving sun, white the ap- proaching morning, red the setting sun of the West and black the darkening clouds from the North. The crowning touch was the nine large wall murals painted in oil by Carl Von Hassler INCLUDEPICTURE "http://www.cabq.gov/kimo/ about-the-theater/globe.gif" \* MERGEFORMATINET . Work- ing from 20 foot high scaffold- ing, Von Hassler spent months on his creations. The theater, which cost $150,000, was completed in less Hidalgo County Assessor PAiD BYCANDIDATF \% love aiut tu, you, God's Garden God looked around his garden and found an empty place. He then looked down u pon the earth and sawyour tired face. He put His arms aroundyou and lifledyou to rest. God's garden must be beautiful, He always takes the best. He knewyou were suffering, He knewyou were in pain, He knew thatyou would never get well on earth again. He saff the road was getting rough and the hills were hard to climb, He closed your weary eyelids and whispered "'Peace Be Thine." It broke our hearts to Ioseyou butyou didn't go alone. Part of us went withyou the day God calledyou home. than a year. The elaborate Wurlitzer pipe organ that accom- panied the silent films of the day was an extra $18,000. Opening Night On opening night, an over- flow crowd watched performances by representatives from nearby Indian pueblos and reservations. The performers, reported the New Mexico State Tribune in an ad- vance story, included "numerous prominent tribesman of the Southwest who will perform for the audience mystic rites never before seen on the stage" Isleta Pueblo Governor Pablo Abeita won a prize of $50, a magnificent sum for the time, for naming the new theater. Re- fleeting the optimism of the time, "KiMo," is a combination of two Tiwa words meaning "mountain lion" but liberally interpreted as "king of its kind". Vivian Vance, who gained fame as Lucille Bali's sidekick in the "I Love Lucy" series, per- formed at the KiMo. The theater also hosted such stars as Sally Rand. Gloria Swanson, Tom Mix and Ginger Rogers. When the theater was packed, the bal- cony-which spans the east to west walls without support and as designed to give and swa~--~ would drop four to eight in~a~s in the middle. -:~: A year after the realiz~&~l of his dream, Oreste Bacbbelii died, leaving the managemeL~-~r~ the KiMo to his sons, wholeffm~ bined vaudeville and ont~ town road shows with mo~i~: Extra revenue came in from 'aj~; cheonette and curio shop o~ ther side of the entrance. In years, the Kiva-Hi, and se~ floor restaurant, and KGGIVL~ dio, housed on the second--~ third floors, were major tena~ Preserving a Treasure ~*-~ A large fire in the ie~ 1960's nearly destroyed the"~-d and severely damaged adjag~l areas at the front of the au~ rium. The KiMo fell into fur~ disrepair following the ex~l~ from downtown that so n~ American cities experienee~ the 60's and 70's. Slated for~.~ struction, the KiMo was savff~l~l 1977 when the citizens of A.~a~* querque voted to purchase~ unrivaled palace to movieg~l~d~ one man's dream. ~'~..,." Edited by John Arnold; ~ Mexico Museum of Natural Histor~ ~q~ information provided by the KiMo~ atre. We're busy. -.-'*" And sometimes, we think .we don't-have -':: enough information. But this year, there's too much going on to back and let somebody else decide what's best for you and your future. Get out and cast your VOTE Tuesday, Nov. 2 Absentee Voting begins Oct. 5 Early Voting begins Oct. 16 Of the People. For the People. art Paid for by the Committee to Elect Rep, Martinez. Cheo Ortiz. Treasurer Y Between B d C and West and Gold ~" Drama Presentation r Sponsors include County * Western Bank * Diamond A Ranch * Compassion Oasis Services * Lordsburg Cyclewo ks Hidalgo County DWI Program * Kerr For Commissioner* CARES Suicide Prevention * Project Heroes * Bootheel Youth Association * Western Auto Smith Ford Valley Mercantile Kelly s Boot Shop * Border4ine Fireworks * Gold Hill Outpost * Darr Shannon * PiloFs Travel Center * Flying J Travel Center Fernando and Patsy Chavez , fl'r