Saturday, July 23, 2011

Classic Movie Adventure

Lobby of the 1930 Plaza Theatre today

Look up!  Lovely details everywhere, including the ceiling

Stencil art in the Plaza Theatre
 Coming up August 4-14, movie enthusiasts can not only escape the summer heat by slinking down into cushy movie seats and watching classics such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Fantasia, 8 1/2, The Searchers, Guys and Dolls on the BIG screen, but they can do it in perfectly restored 1930s loveliness.  Ten days of glorious movie history (plus some new flicks, too!) will be shown at the historic--and fully restored--Plaza Theatre in downtown El Paso.  Critics such as Leonard Maltin will host screenings and share thoughts about the films.  The Plaza Classic Film Festival is the world's largest festival devoted to classic film!
Visit our Plaza Theatre Film Adventure page for more information and links!

You won't encounter gooey seats or an "old" theatre experience...the Plaza is gorgeous and perfectly and lovingly restored.  We invite you to take the virtual tour, via the link on this page!  See it for yourself!

The Plaza offers a theatrical experience
inside the theatre itself,
as well as the a lovely light fixture
History from the Plaza Theatre's website
By the late 1920s, El Paso was a growing metropolis. With a population of 100,000, El Paso already had two airports, numerous theaters, a fully-developed trolley system and all of the amenities of any other modern city.
At the center of it all was the Plaza Theatre, which opened September 12, 1930 to a capacity crowd of 2,410. It was advertised as the largest theater of its kind between Dallas and Los Angeles. Designed as a modern film house with the flexibility of presenting stage shows, the Plaza eventually hosted popular traveling shows and movies, becoming a fixture in the lives of theatergoers for generations to come.
Although several theaters existed in downtown El Paso at the time the Plaza Theatre opened, its size, elaborate decor, and technical innovations made it stand out. No expense was spared in creating this elaborate building, designed in Spanish Colonial Revival style of architecture. 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, to heighten the effect, antique furnishings. With such grandiose rococo design, itís no wonder the Plaza was known as The Showplace of the Southwest.
Perhaps most impressive of all was the $60,000 Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, elevating from the orchestra pit to accompany vaudeville shows, sing-a-longs, and to entertain patrons before and after films. Its toy box provided it with the versatility to replicate such sounds as horses hooves, the ocean surf and birds chirping.

1 comment:

gumo said...

I've never heard of it so thanks for the heads up. I will certainly check it out. I would love to see The Searchers on the big screen. What a movie.