Tobin Center for the Performing Arts


Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation


Size: 183,000 SF

Seats: 250 studio theater / 1,750 multipurpose hall

Boxes: 27

Architect: LMN / Marmon Mok

Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

San Antonio

When the city of San Antonio contemplated the renovation of their Nationally Registered historic Municipal Auditorium into a modern performance center, they counted on Walter P Moore to leverage the power of our integrated diagnostics-structural engineering offering.

The Tobin Foundation’s vision for the restoration was to create a modern and versatile performance venue while respecting the historic façade of the primary entrance. Larger civic goals included broadening the range of cultural events available to the citizens of the region, engaging the adjacent Riverwalk to act as another catalyst of activity, and introducing children from a variety of different socio-economic backgrounds to the arts.

Beyond the historic façade, the condition and configuration of the balance of the old building required that it be replaced. The comprehensive transformation resulted in a 173,000 sf, four level structure with full stage capabilities including gridiron and catwalk. A 250 seat “black box” studio theater is infinitely customizable for a range of uses. The 600-seat outdoor plaza on the San Antonio Riverwalk features a video screen that simulcasts performances free to the public.

Tobin Center boasts the first U.S. installation of the Gala VenueTM adjustable floor configuration system, which provides 722 transformable seats with 21 Spiralifts for audience lifts and 88 total Spiralifts, enabling a 10-minute transformation of seats from underfloor storage to deployed and upright audience seating.

The response of the owner and the community to the new center has been overwhelmingly positive and it has once again become a treasured asset of the City of San Antonio.