Elegant and tastefully decorated, the Plaza Theater in El Paso is an unexpected beautiful construction one should not miss when in town. Sure, it might have lost some of its original splendor and furniture since it opened in 1930, yet the interior structure remains very close to what it has been in the past 70 years.
I have to say I did not expect much from it when I first say its facade; a simple, unappealing ivory coated wall with a few windows and its name in brick red. However once you walk past the main door you realize you’re about to visit a special place. I’m not much of a theater person and have only seen a few in my life (all in Europe), but the looks of the Plaza Theater is one I would describe as unexpected and supreme. Unexpected because the theater room mimics what appears to be an old colonial town in Southern US, Mexico, or even Spain, and supreme because of the details with which this has been achieved.
Known as the Showplace of the Southwest for many decades one of its most distinguished technologies was the $60,000 Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, able to mimic anything from horse hooves to the sound of rolling waves at a beach. An event at the Plaza was more than simply seeing a show or a movie, but was a build-up of events. From the elaborate decor to the ushers catering to their every need, patrons were transported to a magical movie palace. Once seated, the theater lights would dim while tiny stars blinked and clouds appeared across the blue “sky”. The organ would rise from the orchestra pit and the organist would play a musical medley. Finally, the show would begin.
It only takes about 30 minutes to an hour to visit the theater, yet is something I highly recommend if you’re in El Paso. Finding it open to the public might be another story, but with its continuous performances you should be lucky enough to see its doors open while there. And finally, don’t limit yourself to visiting the stage only: walk around and picture yourself being a rich patron over eight decades ago- only then the lavish bathrooms and classical decorations will make sense.
And now it’s your turn:
Have you ever been inside a theater? Was it as tastefully decorated as the Plaza Theater? Where was this? Did you watch a performance? Did you like it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, and this post to if you like it!
This visit was possible thanks to El Paso Visitors Bureau who sponsored my visit, however I was not told to write this review and the opinions are entirely my own