Filipino couple restores historic Texas theater

MISSION, TX — This historic theater in Downtown Mission, Texas almost had its final curtain call ten years ago.

Around the same time, this Fil-Am couple, after living in California for more than 20 years, was looking to start a new adventure in the Rio Grande Valley area.

Erma Ramientos is a real estate agent. She and her husband had no experience running a theater. But the decision to buy this piece of history felt right.

The one thing that they were sure of was to use the space once a week for their ministry. Joseph Ramientos is a pastor for New Hope at the Border, a Methodist congregation.

“Part of our principle in our ministry is  to give to the world what they wan,t in order for us to share to them what they need.”

But it would take a few months before it became clear to the Ramientos what the world wanted.

“The winter Texans approached us and said we need space for the dance. It was a very small space then. And we said sure, and sure enough, they were happy and it’s not just them who have been using it.”

The Ramientos made the decision to keep the original seats from when the Border Theater first opened in 1942. They also kept the carpeted murals that depict the city’s history, but they made a couple of important progressive changes.

The Ramientos might have felt some uncertainties managing this place. But with their faith, they saved a piece of history. And because of the support of their community, these Filipino theater owners are now part of a new American history.

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