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Teatro Municipal José de la Cruz Mena

Department: León

Municipality: León (view on map)

Type: Theaters



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The municipal theater “José de la Cruz Mena” is one of the most important cultural scenes of Leon. It was declared National Cultural Patrimony in 2007, and has had the honor of receiving prominent representatives from Nicaraguan and international figures in the arts ever since its inauguration in 1885.

For years, the theater hosted opera and theater events with companies from Europe and South America. As time passed by, however, its activities diminished, and a ferocious fire destroyed the building in 1956, leaving nothing behind but its facade. After the fire, the theater closed for several years.

Thanks to city twinning with Utrecht (Netherlands), Zaragoza (Spain) and Hamburg (Germany), enough funds were put together in 1983 to reconstruct and renovate the theater. Modern equipment was installed, improving the sound, lighting, and atmospheric conditions in the building.

The theater is currently managed by the association “Amigos del Teatro Municipal José de la Cruz Mena”, which has been in charge of organizing activities since 1998, with the aim of promoting the art of dance, singing, theater, literature, painting, craftsmanship, cinema, and any other form of cultural expression that brings together people of all ages. Different cultural events are organized every month. To find out more about these activities, please visit the Events Calendar of

The theater stands out in the city's architecture, distinguishable between the colonial houses in its vicinity because of its impressive facade. The building can hold 600 people, and thanks its name to the Nicaraguan composer José de la Cruz Mena (1874-1907), known for his productions of waltz, Christmas carols, profane music, funeral marches, and paso dobles, as well as for sacred music still used in religious Nicaraguan ceremonies, and accepted by the Vatican to be used by churches.

To find out more, please visit

Getting There

The theater is in the historic center of León. From the Southwest corner of the central park, walk 1 block West and then 1 more block South. The theatre is right in the corner.