Plaza Theatre125 Pioneer Plaza
El Paso, TX 79901
The Plaza hosts an array of live performances, films and special events. Designed by architect W. Scott Dunne in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, the Plaza originally served as a vaudeville house, quickly gaining a reputation as the “Showplace of the Southwest.” Its architectural extravagance represented the glamorous era of the 1930s motion-picture industry. Among the stars who graced its stage were Mae West, the Marx Brothers, Ethel Barrymore, John Wayne, and Clark Gable. From its beginning in the 1930s through the 1960s, the Plaza Theatre provided a wide assortment of live entertainment as well as motion pictures. By the 1970s, however, the Plaza experienced a slow and gradual period of decline, finally closing its doors in 1973. A restoration of the theatre began in 2003, and included the rehabilitation of an adjoining building to house a smaller auditorium, roof garden and concession space, and the return of the Plaza’s long-lost Wurlitzer organ. This restoration earned the Plaza Theatre a National Preservation Award in 2009 from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.