description

A huge crowd accompanied the opening of the Plaza Theater on September 12, 1930. Designed as a modern film house with the flexibility of presenting stage shows, the Plaza eventually hosted popular traveling shows and movies. Its size (capacity of 2,410), elaborate decor, and technical innovations made it stand out: While the exterior facade was designed to be reminiscent of a Spanish mission-style parapet, patrons were awed by the interior, with its intricately painted ceilings, mosaic-tiled floors, decorative metal railings and sconces and antique furnishings (Spanish Colonial Revival style). Additionally, the Plaza offered electrically cooled drinking fountains, a nursery, a $850 marble and brass telecheck system that alert ushers when a seat became vacant, and a Brenograph machine that could throw over a thousand color effects onto the black-and-white scenes.

However, in the 1950s, the Theater's patronage declined and by the 1970s it was sold. In the 1980s, the El Paso Community Foundation saved the Plaza from demolition and donated it to the City of El Paso in 1990. After, it was restored to its original splendor and today hosts concerts, shows, musicals and plays once again.

Uploaded on 04.20.2015 by UTEP Library Special Collections

Central / Downtown, (1930 - 1939), Cultural Heritage

  • Plaza Theater
  • opening
  • Shows
  • theater
  • El Paso Community Foundation
  • restauration
  • Spanish Colonial Revival style
  • Architecture
  • southwest

Your comment will be visible after the El Paso Museum staff has reviewed it. This usually happens within 24 hours.

Thank you for your comment

Opening of Plaza Theater - 1930

Report this entry

Choose the most important reason for this report

Your name

Your email address

Optional detail

Thank you for your report

More from the same community-collection

Plaza Theater

Originally built in the 1930s, the Plaza theater in downtown El Paso, Is home to some of the most iconic...

R. R. Jones Stadium was built in 1916

It overlooks central El Paso and its border with Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and over the Downtown area is the Wells...

Masonic Hospital - El Paso, Texas

El Paso Masonic Hospital. H.T. Ponsford president, E.W. Kayser vice-president. Location 315 N. Piedras. Sears and Roebuck once occupied this...

Piano Box Buggy - El Paso, Texas

A man sitting in an early 20th century buggy. From its appearance, it seems that this was a Piano Box...

The El Paso Bakery - El Paso, Texas

The El Paso Bakery located at 409 N. Oregon,George W. Roberts, proprietor. The Bakery's delivery wagons can be seen on...

El Paso High School - El Paso, Texas

A group of individuals, perhaps staff, standing in front of the porticio of El Paso High School. This Photo captures...

Providence Hospitals - El Paso, Texas

Photo of Providence Hospital located at 617 N. Santa Fe. Originally, the building housed the Rio Grande Congregational Training School,...

Swift and Company Building - El Paso, Texas

The Swift and Company located at 217-219 S. Kansas, J.S. Thompson Manager. The Swift and Company produced packing house products,...

El Paso Residence - El Paso, Texas

Unidentified residence on Fort Boulevard Street. The residence in the center has a mission style facade, while the home to...

Pioneer Plaza

Photo of Pioneer Plaza, shot looking down from a rooftop. Pioneer Plaza was formerly known as the Little Plaza prior...

El Paso Streetcar Graphics

El Paso Streetcar: El Paso Streetcar shirts.

El Paso Streetcar Graphics

El Paso Streetcar: Color schemes for the Presidents’ Conference Committee streetcars.

El Paso Streetcar Graphics

El Paso Streetcar: Color schemes for the Presidents’ Conference Committee streetcars.

El Paso Streetcar Graphics

El Paso Streetcar: Color schemes for the Presidents’ Conference Committee streetcars.

El Paso Streetcar Graphics

El Paso Streetcar: Color schemes for the Presidents’ Conference Committee streetcars.