Located at 423 Central Avenue NW, the KiMo Theater is one of Albuquerque’s most famous landmarks, designed by Carl Boller in 1927. It is an elaborately decorated three-story stucco building in the Pueblo Deco style.
Carl Boller was one half of the Kansas City-based architectural firm that designed the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, among many other grand movie theaters and vaudeville houses during the early 20th century.
In Tewa, the name “KiMo” means “mountain lion,” and the structure incorporates many elements from the Native American cultures found in the Southwest, as well as Art Deco, which was popular at the time. The colors and decorative elements were all chosen for their symbolism.
I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to explore the interior at all, because I noticed so many thoughtfully designed exterior details. I’m sure there are many similar elements inside:
The KiMo endured a massive fire in the 1960s and was saved from the wrecking ball in 1977. Nowadays, this landmark hosts a variety of events and performances; guided and self-guided tours are also available.