A new Lucha Libre-themed store, gallery and event space for all things Lucha, the Mexican masked wrestling version, has just opened in South Pasadena, right “in the heart of LA,” as the co-owners, Javier Robles and Ari De Alva, posted on Instagram.
This new gallery must be so popular now, even when they’ve been open for only about three weeks, that it’s temporarily closing for a week, up to Friday, April 23, for some filming!
A few posts on the gallery’s Facebook page show some film permits from FilmLA, the film office of the greater Los Angeles region, pasted on the windows and doors. And that means even the online store won’t be available until Saturday.
“We will see you again on Saturday the 24th. In the meantime we are working on some GREAT surprises! Stay tuned for some news soon,” the Facebook posts said.
Robles and De Alva said Republic of Lucha will bring the culture and the art of Lucha Libre, which literally translates to “free fighting,” to Pasadena and Los Angeles area residents.
The gallery will feature professional wrestler masks and other attire, including those from Penta El Zero M and Rey Fenix, professional masked wrestlers who are real-life brothers and who also happen to co-own Republic of Lucha.
“The store’s slogan is ‘Indivisible with Liberty and Lucha for All,’ which we translate to having lucha as being a symbol and culture that unifies people that doesn’t have boundaries,” Robles said. “For some people, it’s something that we can all really enjoy. And it brings us together.”
De Alva said with Republic of Lucha, they wanted to set up a place “where you come and experience something,” the experience of watching a different gallery – different pictures, paintings, like wrestling paintings – something new every time you come, different masks and new wrestlers.
“So it’s a place where you want to come every certain time because there’s something different that’s going to be fun for everyone,” she said.
Penta and Fenix can be expected to be at the gallery at least once every five weeks, when they promote their official merchandise and chat with visitors, while observing social distancing. Robles said this is going to be the only place in the U.S. “where you can come in and look at this many professional masks, and actually buy some of them.”
De Alva said they’re here so people could see, experience, and feel what it’s like when you’re watching Lucha Libre matches from other than your TV.
“The masks represent a culture and I think for us, every man represents some member of a family or something,” she said. “They get attached to them. So you learn to love them.”
When the gallery reopens after the filming, visitors can come and see the Lucha Brothers, limited to 20 people per 30-minute session which includes a photo op, your choice of a signed photo of the brothers, one autographed item per luchador, exclusive merchandise and a commemorative t-shirt to celebrate the event.
And here’s something to look forward to: the owners are talking with the local chamber of commerce and the city of South Pasadena towards offering a permanent 20-percent discount to all frontline workers in the city: the South Pasadena Fire Department, Police Department, South Pasadena Unified School District and the Post Office.
For everyone else, Republic of Lucha will offer good merchandise, great pictures, and friendly service at an affordable price.
To learn more about Republic of Lucha, visit www.republicoflucha.com.
Republic of Lucha is located at 1020 Mission St., Suite H in South Pasadena.