Komoto's Department Store & Hotel
CENTRAL CA'S FIRST SPANISH LANGUAGE THEATER
As the only Spanish language theater from 1948-1980 in the Central Valley, the Azteca theater became a cinema treasure & refugee for the predominantly immigrant Mexican American community in the region.
The Azteca opened its doors on November 30, 1948 & some of Mexico’s biggest names from the Golden Age of Cinema called the Azteca home. Maria Felix, Agustin Lara, Pedro Armendariz, Antonio Aguilar & Pedro Infante were among those who graced the stage at the Azteca.
The Azteca also served as a cultural center for the Latinx community. The Azteca hosted rallies for Cesar Chavez & on March 24, 1966 over a thousand people came to the Azteca to hear Cesar Chavez speak during his famous 340 -mile march from Delano to Sacramento.
Arturo Tirado, owner at the time & unofficial “mayor of West Fresno” utilized his relationships with city officials to ensure Chavez & his marchers were protected & welcomed when they arrived in Fresno.
Tirado ran the Azteca until the mid-1980s, in its later years it held many charitable food drives & even provided valuable legal citizenship information. Although much of the original elements of the theater are gone, the building still stands as a reminder of the rich history Fresno, specifically Chinatown holds.
838 F St
Fresno, CA 93706
ARTURO ROMUALDO TIRADO
"The unoficial mayor of West Fresno"
Arturo Tirado, often referred to as the unofficial “mayor of West Fresno” elevated the Azteca to new heights during his time as owner.
In 1956 Gustavo A. Acosta owner of the Azteca leased the theater to Tirado, unleashing a golden age of cinema in the Central Valley. Tirado brought in household names from Mexico's Golden Age of Cinema to the screen & stage. The Azteca became a cultural epicenter under his direction hosting several rallies led by Cesar Chavez. His political influence ensured Cesar Chavez & his followers were always protected.
In its later years Tirado used the Azteca as a cultural epicenter. Charitable food drives & even citizenship information were provided for the Latinx community. held many charitable food drives & even provided valuable legal citizenship information to the Latinx community.