Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Kimo


It is late, and I am going back to work and school tomorrow, after being sick for five days. So this post will be more nearly wordless than most!

As we were doing our walking tour of Albuquerque last month, we stopped in the Kimo Theater Office, and the people working there graciously gave us a spontaneous tour of one of Albuquerque's oldest theaters. It was designed as a tribute to the Pueblo revivial style on the inside, and it's name is an acronym for goodness and blessing in the Tewa language. It has been recently remodeled, and the interior is stunning.

The entrance features a ceiling with petroglyph-like native symbols, and a tiled ticket box and walls. This is the original, lovingly restored as it was, but shinier.

A grand stairway leads up to the mezzanine seating.
At the mezzanine level, the lighting, replete with pueblo culture symbols shows off retablos set in nichos, and the beamed vigas of the ceiling. These are more visible than they were prior to restoration.

On the mezzanine level, theater goers can enjoy replicas of sand paintings.
Original sand paintings are not permanent art, but are made and then brushed away as part of Navajo healing ceremonies.
Notice that the circle is broken to the south.
In Native American art, there must always be a flaw, in order not to capture the spirit in perfection.

The high ceiling above the stage is done in strong colors and more native symbols. The stage is framed by dream-catcher like symblos that include thunderbirds, war shields and other symbols.

In an alcove in the lobby, mission style chairs and table are an inviting place to rest under a skull, and colorful geometric wood design above.

Even the carpet has a New Mexico native colorful geometrical design.

A colorful retablo-like mural of a cliff dwelling is set back in a nicho above the cast-iron rails of the grand stairway to the mezzanine. These are the beloved touches of the Pueblo revival style, tucked away and yet quite spectacular.

The Kimo used to be a movie house, and is now owned by the City of Albuquerque. It is rented out for stage shows and other entertainment. I have seen Phillip Glass perform Koyyanaskatsi on that stage, and the Chem Geek Princess once participated in a performance of an original work to commemorate the Holocaust there.

It is so Pueblo Revival, that one might think it would seem overdone--Another Death by Santa Fe Style. But the scale of the place makes it simply beautiful.

I love it. It's such a piece of the real Albuquerque.


Alasandra said...

Thanks for sharing.

Beth said...

Wow. That is just beautiful!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely place!

Kaber said...

what a WONDERFUL place!!!

your question. we are in Santa Barbara county, but we are close to SLO. We are in Santa Maria. about 1 hour north of Santa Barbara- about 30 minutes south of SLO. i'm not worried about the fires getting here. it's just weird being so close to such destruction.

Amie said...

That looks like such a cool place!

christinemm said...

Wow what a place!