Santa Fe, NM, is fortunate to have The Lensic, Santa Fe’s Performing Arts Center. Located at 211 W. San Francisco St., The Lensic is a fabulous center for the arts, featuring live musical performances and satellite feed live Metropolitan Opera performances year round.
Located only 3 blocks or so from the Zia Diner (making it very convenient to get a bite to eat at the Zia Diner then go enjoy an event at the Lensic) during 2012 there were dozens of events offered with something for just about everyone at one time or another. The Lensic brought in plays, musical performances, and ballets by the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company including even the Hong Kong Ballet Company.
The facility seats 821 people. It was built and designed by the Boller Brothers from Kansas City, famous for building theaters and vaudeville houses throughout the U.S. during the middle of the 1900’s. Built by local businessmen Nathan Salmon and E. John Greer, the name Lensic was created by using the initials of Greer’s grandkids.
Built back in the mid-1930’s, The Lensic started experiencing functional obsolescence due to normal wear and tear and due to the fact that old buildings start falling apart due to use and age. Because of these reasons the facility was used only every so often and it had become obvious that it needed a major renovation. In 1998 The Lensic Performing Arts Center, a non-profit based out of Santa Fe, NM, started raising funds so that the cost of renovating the building could be accomplished. The group met their goal 2 years later which meant the renovation would come to fruition.
The plan for The Lensic was to renovate it into a top-end venue complete with stat of the art lighting, sound and stage house. The renovation cost $9,000,000 and it was worth every single penny. Once all the funds were raised towards the end of 2000 the project was started. Final touches and construction was completed by April 2001.
The Lensic is the venue in Santa Fe, NM for the multiple arts groups throughout the year including the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, the Santa Fe Concert Association, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Additionally from time to time The Lensic also screens old classic movies, much to the delight of both visitors and locals.