Skip to main content

This is post number 12 in our 50 Post for 50 Days series- see what it’s all about here

We all know the beautiful Plaza Theatre as it stands open today. Its red marquee looks spectacular on any evening in the bustling Plaza District, whether you’re looking at it after a shopping trip at DNA Galleries or a glass of wine on Urban WineWork’s patio. But this area has not always been so alive, and neither has the Plaza Theatre.

The Plaza Theatre was constructed in 1935, and was the first air-conditioned theatre in the state of Oklahoma! Obviously, attending the Plaza was quite an event. It even had a state-of-the-art jukebox on stage that would play popular tunes during movie intermissions. The Plaza Theatre was home to the movie premiere of Dillinger, and was one of the best movie houses in the state. The area around it was a successful commercial district, home to lovely shops and a large grocery store.

The Plaza Theatre, circa 1960

But, as the neighborhood fell into disrepair, so did the Plaza Theatre. In 1979, it closed its doors for good, and sat empty for 20 years. But thanks to the vision of several board members of Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, it soon got a new lease on life.

The Plaza Theatre during its renovation

In 2005, Lyric began a capital campaign to completely restore the building into a state-of-the-art theatre for performances. It certainly wasn’t easy- walls were crumbling, vermin lived inside, and there was debris everywhere. But it was accomplished, and reopened in December of 2007.

The Plaza Theatre as it stands today

The Plaza Theatre as it stands today

We hope you have seen a fantastic show at the Plaza- it’s a far more intimate space than the Civic Center, and seats 279 people. It makes for a great night at the theatre. If you haven’t yet stopped by, please do- you don’t want to miss this gem in a fun and artsy area. We’ll see you at our next Plaza production, THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW!