The San Antonio Film Festival unearths cinematic treasures and provides a platform for artists to unveil their works to a diverse audience. College and high-school categories showcase the future of filmmaking, and documentaries drag real-world issues—such as the epidemic misuse of the word "literally"—into the light. Festival-goers literally never stop between viewings, keeping busy while meeting some of the filmmakers, soaking in words of wisdom from panelists, and participating in workshops.
On Wednesday, September 14, 2011, the Missions began what would turn out to be the longest postseason game in Texas League history. Playing against the Arkansas Travelers in the league's championship series, the Missions battled to a 5–4 victory that took 20 innings—and a spillover into Thursday—to settle. The win propelled the Missions to a series sweep, earning the franchise its 12th championship since the Texas League was founded in 1888.
Throughout those 113 years, the Texas League underwent many changes, but San Antonio stood firm—the only one of the league's six original teams to play in three different centuries. As the San Diego Padres' Double-A affiliate, the Missions continue their legacy at their home field, Wolff Stadium, a 6,200-seat facility complete with a grass berm in left field where fans can sprawl out to watch the innings and where umpires sunbathe between games.
When he's not gigging at renowned venues such as CBGB or the Bowery Ballroom, Pancho Garza preps others to do the same at Alamo Rock School. Likewise, Pancho's fellow instructors channel years of teaching and performing experience to help students aged 8–17 improve their guitar, bass-guitar, drums, piano, or singing skills.
Weekly one-on-one lessons are the bedrock of Alamo's rock club, whose weekend jam sessions give students the opportunity to play with fellow musicians. Private lessons pair with group rehearsals at the school's summer camp and rock performance sessions, which culminate in a live show at a local venue. Designed for musicians 18 and older, the adult rock program similarly whisks students out of their grownup forts made of utility bills to the stage.
Although symphonic concerts could be heard in San Antonio all the way back in the 1880s, the formation of the San Antonio Symphony—the city's first formal orchestra—didn't happen until 1939. It was then that Max Reiter, a native of Italy, was forced from his career and home by a freshly established anti-Semitic policy. Reiter boarded a ship for New York, found the city teeming with exiled musicians like himself, and therefore purchased a train ticket to the South. There, San Antonio's leaders invited Reiter to conduct a demonstration concert for a crowd of 2,500. The success of that initial impression led to the formal founding of the Symphony and an inaugural concert just five months later. Today, Sebastian Lang-Lessing stands where Reiter once stood, leading a full ensemble of 75 musicians with a baton hand honed across the globe.
Greek immigrant Louis Santikos founded his first movie theater in San Antonio in 1911, when silent moving pictures of train robberies and slapstick comedy were an exciting novelty. Today, the thriving regional theater empire continues the family tradition of dazzling audiences with attractions such as IMAX sensory journeys.
Santikos's expansive theaters house up to 19 screens of first-run cinematic entertainment at some locations. Equipped with popcorn and sodas, moviegoers can nervously munch and sip their way through every pulse-pounding car chase, tragic missed connection, or gripping montage of drying paint. Screenings in 3-D of select films are brought to life by the gloriously immersive illuminations of Xpand 3-D projectors.
ARTS San Antonio, a nonprofit organization, strives to bring a diverse, globally significant realm of performing arts to the children and grownups of the San Antonio community. Performances take place in venues throughout the city, ranging from the Lila Cockrell Theatre and the Majestic Theatre to the San Antonio River and El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel. Recent artists who've paid a visit to San Antonio through ARTS San Antonio include Anthony Bourdain, the Shaolin Warriors, William Shatner, and Mejia Ballet International.