Top 10 Most Spectacular Theaters in Mexico City
There are 163 theaters in Mexico City today, and the oldest still standing is the Fru Fru theater—built in 1899.
Up until 1931, The New Colosseum of Mexico (El Nuevo Coliseo de México) had been standing for 178 years before it burned down. This was the first theater in Mexico City, which the viceroy at the time, Juan Vicente de Güemez Pacheco de Padilla, built and opened on December 23rd 1753.
Keep scrolling down and join me as I list the top 10 most spectacular theatres in Mexico City!
PRO TIP! At the time of writing this article, theaters in Mexico City are open and playing Nuevo Tenorio Cómico, Ciudad Luminosa, and Blindness.
1. Palacio de Bellas Artes
- Location: Av. Juárez S/N, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06050 Mexico City.
- Main feature: Its astonishing architecture.
El Palacio de Bellas Artes (literally meaning The Palace of Beautiful Arts) is one of the biggest and most impressive places to visit in Mexico City. This is a museum and an opera house. Porfirio Díaz, a former Mexican president, opened it in November 1934.
El Palacio de Bellas Artes is so big that it has two museums within and it’s also the home to:
- National Symphonic Orchestra (La orquesta sinfónica nacional)
- The Folkloric Ballet of Mexico Amalia Hernández (El ballet folklórico de México Amalia Hernández)
- National Dance Company (La compañía nacional de danza)
- National Opera Company (La compañía nacional de ópera)
Unesco declared this theater in Mexico City as a world heritage site in 1987.
In the main room, you can find a 24-ton anti-fire curtain with the image of two Mexican volcanoes. In the roof hangs a crystal lamp that represents the Greek God Apollo, and it has a capacity for 1,677 people.
2. Fru Fru Theatre
- Location: Donceles 24, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06010, Mexico City.
- Main feature: Its eccentric decoration.
Mexicans opened this funny-named theater in Mexico City in 1899. Back then, they referred to it as The Renaissance Theatre (El Teatro del Renacimiento), but a Mexican actress, Irma Serrano, bought the theater and changed the name in 1973.
This theater in Mexico City has opened and closed its doors through its history but it still offers shows today. It has a capacity for 1,300 people.
If you like legends and ghost stories this is your kind of place. This place closed due to some of Irma Serrano’s legal problems and alleged paranormal activities that happened there.
This place has eccentric decoration, velvet rugs, gold-painted metal, and a statue of a character with the face of a devil and the legs of a goat—to which actors pay tribute by leaving a piece of candy before their act so the play is successful.
3. Cultural Polyforum Siqueiros
- Location: Insurgentes Ave. South 701, Nápoles, Benito Juárez, 03810, Mexico City.
- Main feature: La marcha de la humanidad (Mankind ‘s march) mural.
Cultural Polyforum Siqueiros (Polyforum Cultural Siqueiros) owes its name to the Mexican soldier and Painter David Alfaro Siqueiros. Siqueiros painted the world’s biggest mural outside the theater in Mexico City and gave its creation Mankind’s march (La marcha de la humanidad) which covers 25,833 sq ft (2,400 sq m). Truly a once in a lifetime experience.
This theater in Mexico City is one of the few Greek-styled theatres with a spherical shape that gives place to the spectators all around the actors, for a 360-degree experience. The theater has a capacity for 500 people and you can visit the place from Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm.
4. The City Theatre: Esperanza Iris
- Location: Donceles 36, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06000 Centro, Mexico City.
- Main feature: Being the city’s theatre.
Mexican singer and actress, Esperanza Iris, opened the City Theatre (El teatro de la ciudad Esperanza Iris) in 1918. It can host 1,344 spectators and it’s one of the most iconic places in Mexico City’s Historical Center (El centro histórico)—which (the whole place) is also part of UNESCO’s world heritage.
This theater in Mexico City suffered a fire and lost most of the art inside. It was closed and reopened a couple of times during the 20th century. Thankfully, it reopened fully in 2002 and it now welcomes Mexicans and foreigners to discover all the art it holds. If you feel like visiting it you can do so from Tuesday to Sunday in two schedules, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. or from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
5. Ángela Peralta Theatre
- Location: Aristóteles s/n, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11560 Mexico City.
- Main feature: Being an outside theatre.
How about changing the scenery a little bit? Getting away from the spotlight and watching a play under the stars? Ángela Peralta theater (El teatro Ángela Peralta) in Mexico City is the place to see this.
This outside theater in Mexico City has space for 5,000 people to enjoy the plays presented there, and you can access the place from Monday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This also has an acoustic conch around it so the sound can travel perfectly all the way to the last spectator’s ears—definitely a different experience to live in Mexico’s theatres.
6. Insurgentes Theater
- Location: Insurgentes Ave. South 1587, San José Insurgentes, Benito Juárez, 03900 Mexico City.
- Main feature: Diego Rivera’s mural.
Insurgentes theater (El teatro de los insurgentes) opened its doors to Mexicans on April 30th 1953, thanks to José María Dávila. This theater in Mexico City is the proud owner and wearer of a Diego Rivera (a highly recognized Mexican muralist) mural that is 151 ft (46 m) x 32 ft (10m) in which you can find Cantinflas.
Mexicans built this theatre to give access to the Mexican middle-class to a theatre as well, but that doesn’t mean that this place is bad. In fact, this Italian-style theatre has a 29 feet spinning disc on stage and a 40-foot stage in which actors can perform. Additionally, it has 959 seats for spectators.
7. Blanquita Theater
- Location: Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas no. 16, Mexico City.
- Main feature: Its capacity and history.
Blanquita theater (El teatro Blanquita) owes its name to Blanca Eva Cervantes, daughter of Félix Cervantes—famous for being married to a Mexican actress. This theater in Mexico City opened in 1962 with a capacity of 2,000 people.
This theater was a great alternative as a low-cost form of entertainment for people who couldn’t afford it. They presented music shows and plays, but people who got very big in Mexican culture started off their careers there such as Cantinflas or Vitola.
This place acquired a bad reputation back in the 1960s, but as years passed this perception evolved. Sadly, El Blanquita as Mexicans call it, stopped being a theater in 2015 and it closed its doors to Mexicans who loved it. While it’s still standing today, Carlos Slim—a Mexican mogul, allegedly, might demolish it soon to turn it into a parking lot. This theater was so famous and amazing because it saw many Mexican personalities rise up to a very famous careers.
8. Auditorio Nacional
- Location: Paseo de la Reforma Ave. 50, Polanco V Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11560 Mexico City.
- Main feature: Being Mexico’s most important cultural place.
The National Theater in Mexico City (El Auditorio Nacional) is among the most important ones in the world. It has a 75 x 75 feet (23 m x 23 m) stage and holds an astonishing capacity of 9,366 seats—with two floors of parking lot as well. The place opened in 1953.
You can also find an organ—that Mexicans call OMAN (Órgano Monumental del Auditorio Nacional)—with over 15,600 tubes! The theater is Mexico’s most important cultural place as it holds an impressive art collection too, with murals, and sculptures. You could consider this an unofficial museum very much worth visiting.
9. Del Bosque Cultural Center
- Location: Campo Marte, Paseo de la Reforma and, Paseo de la Reforma Ave. s/n, Miguel Hidalgo, 11560 Mexico City.
- Main feature: Eight different theaters in one single place.
Del Bosque Cultural Center (Centro Cultural del Bosque) is another theater in Mexico city that Mexicans describe as a multifaceted place that holds tradition, and “mixes what’s classic with what’s contemporary.”
This cultural center holds eight theaters in one single place.
|Name of the theater||Capacity|
|Julio Castillo Theater (Teatro Julio Castillo)||1,000 people|
|El Galeón Theater (Teatro El Galeón)||350 people|
|El Granero Xavier Rojas Theater (Teatro el Granero Xavier Rojas)||174 people|
|Orientación Theater (Teatro orientación)||305 people|
|Xavier Villaurrutia Hall (Sala Xavier Villaurrutia)||118 people|
|Dance Theater (Teatro de la danza)||336 people|
|CCB Hall (Sala CCB)||120 people (max).|
|Ángel Salas Plaza (Plaza Ángel Salas)||200 people sitting and 1,500 people standing|
Del Bosque Cultural Center has not only provided entertainment for Mexicans and foreigners for over fifty years, but it has catapulted and hosted a vast amount of Mexican actors—some of which have had highly successful careers. A highly amazing theater in Mexico City!
10. San Rafael Theater
- Location: Virginia Fábregas 40, San Rafael, Cuauhtémoc, 06470 Cuauhtemoc, Mexico City.
- Main feature: Its eccentric welcoming entrance.
San Rafael Theater (El Teatro San Rafael) opened in 1977 and has a capacity of 1,389 people. It has a 41 feet (12.5 m) long Italian-style stage.
Reviews online grant this theater as an amazing place—comfortable, and exciting besides historical. This is one of the most traditional theaters in Mexico City that presents movies, and Mexican and foreign plays.
Visit Mexico To See a Play in Spanish
Theaters in Mexico City are historical representations of outstanding architecture! Besides the performing arts, the Mexican capital has a vast amount of other cultural experiences to offer. The best way to enjoy them is by speaking and understanding Spanish well!
Join a free class today with one of our friendly Guatemalan teachers who’ll introduce you to the world of Spanish and give you an insight on theater vocabulary so you can enjoy the stage experience to the fullest.
The benefit of smooth traveling by learning Spanish will not only help prove helpful in Mexico but when traveling to any other Latin American country, Equatorial Guinea, and Spain. You can even set this up as a family goal and become more fluent by practicing with your kids and partner at home.
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