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

Street scene

A street scene in Downtown El Paso. The picture was taken in 2014.

Street scene

A street scene in Downtown El Paso. The picture was taken in 2014.

Downtown El Paso

A street scene in Downtown El Paso. The picture was taken in 2014.

Church's Chicken

Church's Chicken fast food restaurant next to Walgreens on Piasano with Court House in background in downtown El Paso.

Man on bench

Unknown man sitting on bench in downtown El Paso.

Downtown, Street Scene

A street scene on El Paso Street, Downtown El Paso.

Merrick Building

The Merrick building was built in 1887 in the Victorian style popular at that time. Constructed by John J. Steward...

Geneva Loan & Jewelry CO Down Town El Paso

Geneva Loan & Jewelry CO, was established in 1912 and is on 222 South El Paso St El Paso, TX...

Workers in downtown

Construction workers at the El Paso Chamber of Commerce and El Paso Convention Center.

Street corner Mesa / Mills

The image shows construction in downtown El Paso, at the corner Mesa / Mills streets. A couple of downtown buildings...

.Schuster Ave and Mesa St.

Intersection of Schuster Avenue and Mesa Street in El Paso, Texas handles huge volume of traffic expecially during reconstruction of...

Police cars

Police cars blocking Oregon Street at Missouri in down town El Paso.

EL Paso Police

El Paso Police Depart cars blocking the way on Mesa Street in downtown El Paso.

Street Art

Chalk the Block is quickly becoming an El Paso signature event. Come experience your downtown in a whole new light...

Tony Canales as Boxer

This pictures shows Tony Canales dressed with a sport suit, posing like a boxer. He was a semi-professional boxer/wrestler and...