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

EPCC Rio Grande Health and Sciences Laboratory Building Opened

Paid for by revenue bonds at no cost to the taxpayer, the Health and Sciences Laboratory Building and Parking Garage...

EPCC Rio Grande Learning Resource Center Completed

The Learning Resource Center Addition at Rio Grande was completed. The cost of the remodeling and construction was approximately $1.5...

Historical Downtown Ghost Tour (outside Scottish Rite)

Image from a historical ghost tour in Downtown El Paso. Tour guide Heather Shade stands in front of the historic...

San Jacinto Plaza Postcard

This 1940s postcard features the grassy land that was San Jacinto Plaza. The text reads, "Glimpse from San Jacinto Plaza,...

Mariachi Postcard

This vintage 1940s postcard features Mariachi's playing for two women. The text says, "Professor Valles and his famous Mexican Tipica...

Artist Glen in his studio at the art junction.

Artist Glen in his studio at the art junction.

Artist Glen in his studio at the art junction.

Artist Glen

Sunset in Segundo

Watching the sunset from a balcony in Segundo Barrio

Endangered Species Mural

Mural depicting endangered species in the Border region that will be affected if the Border Wall is built.

Peaceful March on N. Oregon

A peaceful march, protesting the construction of the Border Wall, on N. Oregon passing the San Jacinto Plaza. Marchers chanting...

El Paso YOUNG ghostbusters

El Paso YOUNG ghostbusters

El Paso YOUNG ghostbusters

El Paso YOUNG ghostbusters

El Paso YOUNG ghostbusters

El Paso YOUNG ghostbusters

El Paso YOUNG ghostbusters

El Paso YOUNG ghostbusters

El Paso Jewish Academy and Friends at the El Paso History Museum

It was so much fun to meet downtown and have a special tour of the Museum of History!