Plaza Theater

160 W. Central Avenue,
Bentonville, AR 72712

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Plaza/Meteor Theater, Bentonville, AR

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The Meteor Theater was designed and constructed by Mr. Harry Kelley at a cost of about $30,000. Mr. Kelley believed theater goers loved good music, so one of his heaviest expenses was the Barton Silver-Toned pipe organ, which was erected at a cost of $6,000 and it was built especially for the Meteor Theater and was the same make as the one in the Palace Theatre in Fayetteville, AR.

The grand opening of the Meteor Theater was August 1, 1927 with over 12,000 people attending. “Venus of Venice”, a strong First National picture at the time, was shown at the grand opening.

D. M. Greer, president of the Rotary Club made the welcoming address and Miss Gladys Cosnel of Fayetteville played several selections on the pipe organ.

The Meteor Theater introduced “talkies” on December 20, 1929.

It was renamed Plaza Theater by 1940.

The pipe organ has been refurbished and is now at the Presbyterian church in Bentonville.

In 2014, the building is being restored and renovated to reopen as a music and art venue, (a ‘soft’ opening on June 6, 2014).

Contributed by nilraps

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 18, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Here is an item from the Fayetteville Democrat in August 1932:

Bentonville, Aug.9-A.M. Lightner, Guy D. Lightner and Mary T. Grant have become the owners of the Meteor Theater in a deal with Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Williams, of Tonkawa, Okla., who purchased the property about a month ago. The theater was valued at $20,000, and a 40-acre farm owned by the Lightners near the New Hope rural school was part of the consideration. Mr. Williams, who has been manager of the theater, will continue in charge of it for the present. The theater was built a few years ago by Harry Kelly and is one of the finest in this section.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 18, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Here is an item from the Northwest Arkansas Times dated 4/26/52. Looks like it was already the Plaza by 1952.

Jack “Pud” Fields has sold the Plaza Grill, located in the Plaza Theater building, to Dan Pickens, a Korean war veteran who served with the 936th Field Artillery Battalion of the Arkansas National Guard.

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