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“An Arts Center for Everyone” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Lensic Performing Arts Center

Lensic Performing Arts Center
211 W San Francisco St., Santa Fe, NM 87501
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Ranked #24 of 210 things to do in Santa Fe
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: We are Santa Fe, N.M.'s premier performing arts center located in the historic Lensic Theater in the heart of downtown Santa Fe.Our MissionThe nonprofit Lensic Performing Arts Center enriches lives by bringing diverse art and people together in the historic Lensic Theater, a cornerstone of downtown Santa Fe since 1931. The Lensic presents and supports local and national artists and serves as a center for education, community and youth events through its accessible and affordable programming.
Las Vegas, New Mexico, United States
Level Contributor
113 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“An Arts Center for Everyone”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

The Lensic goes out of its way to offer programming that appeals to more sophisticated audiences (not just your average performing arts series), and to provide a mixture of types of events at all price levels.

There is a film series with discussions, a lecture series, a dance series, and a classical music series. Young performers are featured in festivals, and the theater is also made available to important area organizations such as the fledgling New Mexico School of the Arts, allowing them to shine in a professional setting.

The Lensic is a generous community supporter, not just a profit-making entity, and it is one of the pillars of the Santa Fe performing arts community. The ornate, comfortable lobby and auditorium are welcoming and intimate.

Intermissions are the only smudge on this stellar theater's record. The small size of the lobby means that the two tiny refreshment counters are overwhelmed (place your order before the show to speed things up). The restrooms are actually outside the theater, down a couple of steps into a covered alley, and they are also subject to long lines at intermission time. This seems like a design flaw in the original building, and it is hard to see how the Lensic could do anything about it short of a multi-million-dollar project, but it's worth noting.

Parking can be a problem in downtown Santa Fe (a huge understatement, I know), but the city maintains a parking garage directly across the street from the Lensic. Normally, event parking is just five dollars there, and I've never seen it fill up entirely. Just allow a few extra minutes to walk from your parking place over to the theater, as you may be on an upper level.

Visited November 2012
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161 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level Contributor
82 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
“We are fortunate to have this venue!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2013

We've have seen so many great performances here over our 27 years in Santa Fe. We are lucky to have such a beautiful and historic place to enjoy the great culture they provide!

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
83 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Beautiful theatre but the play not so much”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

This theatre is beautiful - somewhere between Spanish Moor and Art Deco. Lovely to sit in. The play we went to see (Humble Boy) not so entertaining but that is not the Theatre's fault.

Visited May 2013
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Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Classical Music Events at Lensic generally excellent. Theater itself is somewhat dangerous.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

Negative comments contrasting to all the positive ones.
The Lobby is way too small and people just stand around and make it difficult to
get by, especially to the restrooms out in the outdoor atrium.
Alcoholic drinks at the Lobby bar are far too expensive, though the bartender Gary is friendly.
The ski-jump-like-ramp down into the theater is very dangerous and I have seen numerous concert-goers take serious falls, and the ushers have to warn just about everyone who enters that section.
There is NO ELEVATOR to get upstairs and even worse, there are no safety rails to get to the upper seats. Older people have a terrible time getting to those upper rows and often lose their balance. A central security rail should be installed so that there is something to hold on to.
In general, all the rows, except ONE, downstairs are far too narrow and thus getting to one's seat is very uncomfortable, especially if one is in the middle of a row.

Visited May 2013
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Salida, Co. USA
Level Contributor
171 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Just enjoyed a Tom Russell and Ian Tyson show here...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

Had fun, great folks running the place, and Santa Fe is fortunate to have the wealth to offer such a nice looking restoration. Place reminded me of The Fox in Atlanta, only on a MiniMe scale.
If you're from Santa Fe this is old news, if you're planning on visiting Santa Fe then check the Lensic website to see if they're having something there that interests you, if so, do it.
Travel Safe, Salida1048

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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