Submitted by Glen Aaron on May 23, 2011

Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan did a most unique thing. She built, no, she created and built the Spencer Theater. She hired Albuquerque architect, Antoine Predock, and together they constructed a 49,474 sq. ft. building,actually divided by a 6-inch air buffer with the theater in one side and all equipment that might vibrate or make noise in the other.

The front of the theater, which took seven months to computer model, has 300 glass panes over an inch thick, with no two cut the same size. 430 tons of white-flecked stone quarried in Spain, finished in Italy, then transported to the foothills of Sierra Blanca mountain stand in angled architectual design of sparkling beauty.

Jackie’s theater for the performing arts opened October 3, 1997, with violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Dave Brubeck and the New Mexico Symphony. She paid 23-million cash for the creation of her gem, but she didn’t stop there. She assigned her husband, Ronnie Lee Morgan, the task of working with Dale Chihuly to dazzle the eye with interior vibrant colored blown glass art creations at a cost of 6-million.

The Spencer Theater is in part the legacy of Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan, a Doe-Jones publishing heiress. — It was my pleasure to come to know and work with her shortly after the theater opening. She was quite a lady.

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