On the north side of the Plaza Hidalgo is the Juarez Theater, inaugurated in 1957 during the administration of Horacio Teran. This impressive mass, a display of post-war aerodynamic architecture and industrial Mexico, replaced the old Juarez Theater, located in the plaza of the same name, and was demolished in 1948 to build the new Government Palace.
It is the first civilian building in Mexico to employ the prestressed concrete method for the structure of wide-span roofs, according to architect Fernando Barbará Zetina. The building, which is a piece of the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas' heritage, boasts a stunning mural in its spacious foyer that masterfully summarizes Tamaulipas' history and is well worth taking in.
The artwork was done by Tamaulipas-born artist Alfonso Xavier Peña (1902–1964). Fray Andrés de Olmos, who founded Tampico and the Tamaholipa mission, from which the state gets its name, is depicted in the mural's first of seven moments. The colonization wagons that are right next to him appear to be struggling to get to the next destination.
The next image shows a magnificent panoramic picture of Ciudad Victoria at the time of its founding. Don José de Escandón, the colonizer, can be seen holding the Plan of Routes in his left hand while pointing to the chosen location with his right hand.
General Pedro José Méndez, a hero of Tamaulipas and a supporter of the Reform, will then take the stage, riding in an epic horseback advance, followed by Don Benito Juárez, a man of strength and restraint. The disembarkation of Francisco Xavier Mina and Fray Servando Teresa de Mier, who fervently supported the insurgent cause, from Soto la Marina is still going on. In the following frame, Iturbide's execution in Padilla is seen, and then General Lucio Blanco distributes the first crop.
The work exhibits slight disproportions in some of its compositional elements, but these are subdued by the mural's cohesive force, which is achieved by the excellent handling of color and line. The Art Deco style is evident in this mural, a current that the author experienced in his youth and from which he was influenced by his friend, the artist Ernesto García Cabral, one of the most prominent practitioners of that style that emerged in the third decade of the century.
Despite the mural's inadequate illumination, it's vital to focus on the major figures' faces, which expertly convey their true identities. Two additional ominous murals depicting Tragedy and Comedy can be seen on the inner lateral walls of the precinct. If you want to view the mural or use it for an event, you must get permission.