Plaza Theater

3806 McKinney Avenue,
Dallas, TX 75204

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dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on October 7, 2013 at 3:47 am

The 755-seat Plaza Theatre at 3806 McKinney at Haskell and McKinney was built in 1948 and appears to have first opened on January 22, 1949. It was operated by M.S. White, veteran of Dallas movie theater operation including such theaters as the White Theater and Dal-Sec Theater. Playing suburban fare to small audiences and unprofitability, White closed the theater following the August 31, 1953 double feature of “Desert Rats” and “Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.” Television was cited as one of the main culprits identified for the lack of business at the location.

The Plaza got second life when it was reopened Sept. 23, 1954 under the operation of the Lagow Theater’s Ruth Wafford and J.T. Orr. The opening attraction was “Knock on Wood.” Every Saturday children got free popcorn and every Thursday was gift night. In 1956, the theater would try to mix in more art films beginning with Orson Wells' “Othello” in May of 1956. The concept was 47 years too soon as Landmark’s Magnolia Theater would emulate the concept more successfully just blocks away from where The Plaza once stood. Advertisements ceased in May of 1959 as the theater limped to a close after just about ten years of operation.

Called a nonproductive property, tired, and abandoned, the Plaza got a $150,000 upgrade designed by Architect Joe Gordon in 1964 after being empty for years and became Haskell Plaza ending its future as a cinema treasure. It was bulldozed and as of the 2010s, it was a mixed use retail and loft building in the Uptown business district.

matt54
matt54 on September 2, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Oct 16, 1948 issue of Boxoffice states that the “new” Plaza, to be opened on McKinney near Haskell, has a target opening of December, 1948. Owner is listed as M.S. White, “well-known showman and businessman…”

http://www.boxoffice.com/the_vault/issue_page?issue_id=1948-10-16&page_no=89#page_start

matt54
matt54 on July 11, 2010 at 7:51 pm

fturner, I’m getting a Page Not Found result for all issuu.com links. My browser is Firefox – do you think that is the problem?

fturner
fturner on July 2, 2010 at 4:55 pm

This is an article from Boxoffice magazine, October 5, 1956, on the reopening of the Plaza Theatre by Ruth Wofford and J. T. Orr:
View link

matt54
matt54 on May 29, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Bob, here is a photo of the Garland Plaza –

View link

  • totally different from the Snider Plaza venue LM has posted as the McKinney Ave. Plaza venue.

Upshot of all this is: I don’t think we have a pic of the old Plaza Theater that used to be across the street from North Dallas High School.

Bob Johnston
Bob Johnston on May 3, 2010 at 6:12 pm

The photo is of the Plaza Theater in Garland, I think.

Bob Johnston
Bob Johnston on May 3, 2010 at 6:09 pm

The Plaza on McKinney near North Dallas High School closed in about 1961 and in 1964 was remodeled into the Haskell Plaza Office Building.

It seated 755 and was operated at one time by Mrs. Ruth Wafford and J. T. Orr. Mrs. Wafford also operated the Lagow Theater in Dallas.

matt54
matt54 on February 20, 2010 at 4:35 pm

LM -
I think your 1982 photo of the Plaza Theater might actually be the Fine Arts (formerly the Varsity) in Snider Plaza, across Hillcrest Ave. from SMU campus (see Randy Carlisle photo link below) I used to work just south of the Fine Arts when it was running quality films in the 1970’s.
I never saw the Plaza – perhaps, if your picture is correct, it was designed by the same architect/built by the same firm, and around the same time as the Varsity?
View link

DonLewis
DonLewis on May 5, 2009 at 10:51 pm

Another movie theater ad from from 1949 for the Plaza Theater in Dallas.

DonLewis
DonLewis on March 20, 2009 at 8:43 pm

An old movie theater ad from 1949 for the Plaza Theater.