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

White House Department Store

The popularity of the White House exceeded the size of its selling floor, even though in 1905 it had added...

El Paso Museum of History

The El Paso Museum of History is dedicated to the history and culture of the City of El Paso and...

Southwest University Park

Southwest University Park is a stadium in El Paso, Texas. It is primarily used for baseball and is the home...

East San Antonio Avenue

This sign marks the corner of East San Antonio Avenue and South Oregon Street.

Architecture

A once beautiful building in downtown El Paso, TX.

Lamppost

Downtown El Paso is dotted with revival styles from the turn of the century.

N. Mesa Street Downtown El Paso, Texas

Image of N. Mesa Street with sign and lamp post in downtown El Paso, Texas

Kress Sign

This sign marks the location of Kress & Co. Department store at San Jacinto Plaza These "five and dime" stores...

Betty Moor MacGuire Hall

The Betty Moor MacGuire Hall is the entry lobby and patio room that is located within the Plaza Theater. It...

Solar Aztec Calendar Pavilion

This Aztec Calendar Pavilion is situated at the corners of Mesa and Missouri streets. It is solar-powered and it is...

Solar Aztec Calendar Pavilion

This Aztec Calendar Pavilion is situated at the corners of Mesa and Missouri streets. It is solar-powered and it is...

Solar Aztec Calendar Pavilion

This Aztec Calendar Pavilion is situated at the corners of N. Santa Fe Street and Missouri Street. It is solar-powered...

Brazilian Happy Hour at El Paso Museum of History

The picture was taken at the Brazilian Happy Hour in the Museum of History. Each month the Museum has a...

Brazilian Happy Hour at El Paso Museum of History

The picture was taken at the Brazilian Happy Hour in the Museum of History. Each month the Museum has a...

Brazilian Happy Hour at El Paso Museum of History

The picture was taken at the Brazilian Happy Hour in the Museum of History. Each month the Museum has a...