Plaza Theatre

125 W. Mills Avenue,
El Paso, TX 79901

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Showing 1 - 25 of 26 comments

rlynwil on July 4, 2017 at 9:58 am

I first started working for ABC Theatres as the manager of the Plaza in 1971 (As well as State, Pershing and Northgate). While my experience was less than remarkable until we ran “The Exorcist”. That filled up all the seats and required me to bring in managers with crews from other venues to augment the Plaza crew. This gave me a taste what the theatre was like in it’s heyday. The Plaza was an ornate flagship theatre in the Interstate Circuit. It had a great history perhaps the most prestigious I ever managed aside from the Ziegfeld in Manhattan.

DavidZornig on February 6, 2017 at 8:30 am

1963 photo added courtesy of the Traces Of Texas Facebook page.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 17, 2010 at 3:10 pm

No they just want to run til they can’t get a light,It is the norm for most second run houses,but this place should be way above the dollar triple down the street.You should mention it,but you would think they would notice.The Bulb might need adjusting too.

matt54 on August 17, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Just returned from a visit to El Paso and was privileged to see “The Magnificent Seven” as part of the El Paso Film Festival, hosted at the theater. None of our party of five had ever been inside and, to say the least, we were simply knocked out by the theater’s beauty. Projection, unfortunately, is not so hot – pretty dim picture, sorry to say. Have noticed this same phenomenon at the Paramount in Austin. Are the projection bulbs used today just not as bright as they used to be?

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on May 30, 2010 at 7:44 pm

From 1938 an El Paso newsprint photo of William “Hopalong Cassidy” Boyd, Jane Clayton and a crowd of people in front of the Plaza a the gala world premiere of In Old Mexico.

diapason on October 24, 2009 at 11:41 am

While we’re talking about the Plaza, let’s not neglect the great theater organist John R. Thomas who had a couple of stints as “House Organist” there. His final tenure was from 1965 until his death in 1968. In those days the theater’s management spotlighted the organ for brief programs between features, with the Wurlitzer console rising up out of its pit as the film ended, then descending just in time for the next show. John R. had an incredible talent for using all the sound effects that had been built into the Wurlitzer, in addition to all the organ’s musical resources.

kencmcintyre on July 10, 2009 at 7:50 pm

Here is an August 1976 article from the El Paso Herald-Post:

A hearing on the eviction notice filed against operators of the Plaza Theater has been set for 8:30 a.m. Thursday before Justice of the Peace Jesus Hernandez. Ted Cottle, realtor representing Mike Dipp, theater owner, said the notice was filed for failure to pay rent for several months. Tim Cassias, former employee of the Plaza, who has filed claim for back wages with the Texas Department of Labor and Standards, told The Herald-Post he plans to notify film distributors of irregularities in the theater’s bookkeeping. He showed documents which he said support his contention that the distributors were paid less than they were entitled to on certain films shown at the Plaza in 1975.

LANE ROBERTSON, who has headed the Plaza operation since 1973, has denied the accusations and said the documents were stolen from his desk. Cassias admitted yesterday that the papers were stolen but said he did not steal them. He said they were given to him. Both Robertson and Andy Simson said that bookkeeping errors were audit and are being worked out with the the distributors affected.

CASSIAS WORKED for the theater 14 months. He resigned June 29 after being unable to collect pay he said was due him. Mrs. Julia Breck, chairman of the theater’s board, said today, “We’re in the process of handling the situation. We are doing the best we can to pull things together.” She is among prominent local persons who Cassias said made substantial investments in the theater operation. A “Save the Plaza” campaign was held, enlisting financial support with the alternative of having the theater razed so the land could be used for other purposes.

Cottle, however, denies that Dipp ever intended to raze the Plaza after buying it in 1973. Cassias said he learned soon, after going to work at the Plaza that the owner did not really intend to raze it. He said the appeal to save the building was a deception to increase the urgency of the appeal for money.

txstan on May 29, 2009 at 3:39 am

Memories! I worked as an usher and doorman at the Plaza 1950/52.
Was in El Paso about a year ago and took the guided tour which was then held on Tuesday mornings. Very interesting and well worth anyone’s time.
Much of the original interior is still in place. The one thing I noticed missing was a large beautiful painting of a Spanish lady over the stairs leading from the main floor to the mezzanine.
I do not remember the first movie I saw there (1945), but I remember the last move (The Exorcist). We sat in the mezzanine first row…my favorite seat.Movie scared the hell out of my nephew.

ERD on October 13, 2008 at 8:18 am

A stunning theatre! One of the best restorations I’ve seen. The Plaza is a gem.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 30, 2008 at 6:27 pm

Holy sh*t! It’s incredible!

The lighting towers and sound gear are unfortunate. But what are you going to do?

kencmcintyre on January 30, 2008 at 3:47 pm

Here is a view of the interior from wikipedia:

Patsy on July 9, 2007 at 8:39 am

One could tell this theatre is in TX without knowing that fact with the similar Alamo roof design.

bobs on December 17, 2006 at 7:27 pm

I has not realized that the Plaza had re-opened! Congratulations to the people of El Paso on the completion of this restoration. I remember it well from around 1960. Hope the WurliTzer still sounds the same.

bobs on December 17, 2006 at 7:27 pm

I has not realized that the Plaza had re-opened! Congratulations to the people of El Paso on the completion of this restoration. I remember it well from around 1960. Hope the WurliTzer still sounds the same.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 17, 2006 at 4:20 pm

I haven’t checked this page in quite some time. It looks great! Fabulous that the project was a success!

Patsy on January 2, 2006 at 11:52 am

I know some folks who are visiting the El Paso TX area and I hope they take time to visit the Plaza Theatre.

simpsonr on October 17, 2005 at 12:24 pm

When residing in El Past from 1958 to 1960, I volunteered as part of the team to restore the Wurlitzer organ. A lot of work by many dedicated people – but well worth the effort. I hope to one day see this organ when it is re-installed in the Plaza Theater.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 4, 2005 at 11:56 am

The Plaza Theatre opened on 12th September 1930 and had a seating capacity of 2,410.

epearson on January 26, 2005 at 11:11 am

If you would like more in-depth information, please contact the El Paso Community Foundation. 915-533-4020 or

Cube on January 11, 2005 at 12:48 pm

Okay, so I can’t spell “Stanton” correctly. :P

Cube on January 10, 2005 at 2:35 pm

The CURRENT website for the Plaza Theater is

The site has a virtual tour, teachers' guide and a listing of the theater’s history.

The theater is still being renovated. Go downtown in El Paso and you’ll see the area clearly from Santa Fe near city hall and the Insights Museaum.

mineje on September 28, 2004 at 10:05 am

Would like to know current status of renovations. I was fortunate enough to be invited to see the inside of the theater several years ago, but have since moved from El Paso.

KorinaCardona on October 15, 2002 at 3:49 pm

I am doing a research project regarding the Plaza Theater at Clint High School and I would like to know if anyone could provide me with any other information about the renovation process. Thank You

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on February 7, 2002 at 7:48 am

I’ve seen it mentioned that the Plaza has been in both the Interstate and Publix theatre chains.