Ero Architects

McAllen Performing Arts Center

City of McAllen
  • Client

    City of McAllen

  • Budget


  • City


  • Sq. Ft.



In 2002, the citizens of McAllen voted to build a performing arts center (PAC) to act as a premier entertainment facility and cultural arts hub for South Texas. McAllen wanted a one-of-a-kind venue that could bring unparalleled experiences for the entire family.

ERO’s resulting PAC design competes on the world stage. Singer, Tony Bennett, highly praised McAllen's new world-class 1,828-seat PAC. He said, "The McAllen Performing Arts Center is one of the most beautiful theaters I’ve ever performed in. They don’t make them like this anymore. Whoever designed this theater knew what they were doing." The new venue offers unobstructed views and perfect sound with a magical house experience and stage presentation.

The theater design tells a story grounded in south Texas and it reflects ERO’s design philosophy to tie a building's aesthetics to the culture and environment of its community. ERO drew inspiration for the PAC's textured exterior walls from the complex, intricately woven trunks of stout, sturdy native palm trees common to McAllen, "the City of Palms." Colored lights bathe the exterior walls during the evening to create a mood, reflect the seasons or highlight special events.

The interior design delivers metaphors of McAllen and Texas. The lobby is vibrant with the colors of the Indigo Bunting, a brilliant, iridescent blue migratory songbird. Richly hued seating and curtain materials are taken from the area's abundant bougainvillea and detailed millwork pays homage to native mesquite and pecan trees.

The stage amazes the eye at more than eight stories in height and an area 1½ times the size of a professional basketball court. Technology maneuvers more than 10,000 square feet of acoustic fabric on the walls and ceiling to enhance the sounds of the Valley Symphony or a Broadway musical troupe. Interior arches of solid pecan wood also acoustically reflect sound, producing smooth and even tones.

Bragging Rights:

  • Since the opening of the PAC, ticket sales have grown by 300%
  • 80% of PAC event attendees are from out of town
  • PAC ranked Top 200 Theatre Venues Worldwide in 2019 and 2020

The McAllen Performing Arts Center is going to be a place of memories, where our community can watch great performances from national organizations as well as their own kids on a stage that can compete with venues in New York, Chicago or any big city in Texas.

Jim Darling

Mayor of the City of McAllen
Next Project

TA Brown Elementary School Modernization

Austin ISD

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