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Museum Exhibits

Posted on: January 22, 2024

"Stage and Screen: 150 Years of Entertainment in the Mesilla Valley"


Branigan Cultural Center, 501 N. Main St., is excited to announce a new exhibit, “Stage and Screen: 150 Years of Entertainment in the Mesilla Valley.”

The exhibit opens Feb. 2, 2024, and will continue to April 23, 2024. The exhibit explores the long history of stage theater and cinema theater in the Mesilla Valley and discusses prominent citizens who were a part of the local theater experience.

Live theater and motion pictures have a way of uniting a community and creating memories for viewers. In the Mesilla Valley, this has been true since the 1870s when the first theater group was founded, and later, in 1913 when the first movie theater in Doña Ana County opened in downtown Las Cruces. Throughout the years, community theater groups and university theater productions, along with movies and drive-ins have entertained Las Cruces and Mesilla Valley residents.

“Stage and Screen” uses selected theater productions and movies to show the historic and contemporary importance of the arts in the Mesilla Valley and the families, individuals, and businesses that support the arts. By using movie posters, theater programs, costumes, and videos, the exhibit presents a wealth of information and examples of theater and film in the region.

This exhibit was developed by Tracie Amend, Hamed Aziziangilan, and Jerry Wallace of New Mexico State University’s Public History program.

An opening reception is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, 2024. Additionally, several programs are scheduled during the exhibit run, including a presentation by the three exhibit curators on Feb. 15, and a showing of “The Milagro Beanfield War,” on March 16, at the historic Rio Grande Theatre, 211 N. Main St. Visit our social media platforms for detailed information.

Branigan Cultural Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. There is no admission charge.

The museum is accessible on RoadRUNNER Transit Route 1, Stop 1. For information, visit the City’s Museum System website at or call (575) 541-2154.

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