San Antonio's first-ever selfie museum opens to the public

click to enlarge Cesar Ramos (left) and Michael Reyes smile for a photo inside The Selfie Box's red room of love. - COURTESY OF MICHAEL REYES
Courtesy of Michael Reyes
Cesar Ramos (left) and Michael Reyes smile for a photo inside The Selfie Box's red room of love.
Walking into The Selfie Box, San Antonio’s first-ever selfie museum, is like walking into a photo-op paradise.

Located in the heart of the South Side, the new "selfie museum" opened on Saturday, February 13. Just in time for Valentine's Day — assuming the lousy weather didn't keep most lovers stranded at home.

The Selfie Box, 1602 SW Military Dr., is a passion project for Michael Reyes, 19, and his boyfriend Cesar Ramos, combining their passions for social media and entrepreneurship.

Unlike other selfie museums in places such as Denver and Seattle, Reyes and Ramos say that theirs won't be as commercialized and will allow for more "hip" and "trendy" ideas that will make heads turn.

"We really wanted to have a place that was all about creativity and expressing everyone’s uniqueness and diversity," Reyes told the Current over Zoom. "Just feeling confident when you’re taking pictures or videos in a different place with fun backgrounds is something we are definitely really excited to do through our business."

Courtesy of Michael Reyes
The Selfie Box features 10 art rooms and four interactive spaces. All the rooms have ring lights on hand to make sure visitors look their best. The hallways are decorated with four murals that may be worth their own quick photo ops.

Ramos is an online architecture student who helped design The Selfie Box, using what he is learning in the classroom to come up with the museum's floor plan and room ideas.

"I knew we had very limited spacing, but I actually like a good challenge, so when I had to think about the square footage and all that, I was able to get more creative and really challenge my brain to maximize the space that we have," Ramos said. "I was kind of surprised with myself, and I tried to do the best for COVID purposes as well. The spacing I wanted people to walk through fluently and not too close together, so I made it very open but also utilized the spacing."

Courtesy of Michael Reyes
The Selfie Box shares a space in warehouse for I Got Clothes, a 23-year-old clothing store run by Reyes’ mother, Debra Trejo.

Along with Trejo’s clothing store and rental property investments, she's also part-owner of her son’s new venture. She says Reyes has inherited her sense for entrepreneurship.

"First thing that came to my head [when I heard about The Selfie Box] was you know what, that’s an awesome idea," she said. "It’s something we need now, like in this pandemic. With everything that’s going on, we all need a place where we can just have fun and relax, to take away those worries of life, even if it’s just for that short period of time when you’re there."

In the future, Reyes and Ramos plan to change the room themes on a seasonal basis, so the museum will have a fresh look for return visitors.

Courtesy of Lucy Carranco
To comply with social distancing measures, a maximum of 12 people will be allowed in the museum per hour, and all visitors will be required to wear a mask. Patrons can remove masks when posing for photos, however.

Whether they're striking a pose or behind the camera, Ramos and Reyes hope people find confidence in themselves while visiting.

"We have one room that’s called the Rare Room, and it’s completely covered in flowers and grass. It’s very vibrant and it has the neon pink sign that says 'rare,'" Ramos said. "So, it just speaks a lot to how everyone is rare and everyone’s different and unique and they just need to embrace that always."

Tickets and additional information about The Selfie Box are available on its website.

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