The original theater on the Carrollton Square was operated by George F. Myers. Mr. Myers had served Carrollton as a grocer, Mayor, and Postmaster. He first started showing films outside in the summer and then in the 1930’s used part of his building on the west side of the Square to show movies on the weekends.
Mr. and Mrs. A. R. Lowery purchased the building and the movie business from the George Myers’ Estate. The Lowerys’ “modernized” the store front “show house” as best they could during the lean war years. Benches were replaced by theater hard seats and the walls were painted. After World War II, Mrs. Lowery, now a widow, purchased a lot on the south side of the Square and built the present day Plaza Theater.
History of property from abstract:
The Plaza Theater sits on lot 7 and 8 of Block F on the south side of the Public Square, corners of Fourth and Elm in the John Nix survey of the Corrected Map of the Town of Carrollton, Texas (1901) (3).
The Peters Colony Company originally granted a 160-acre parcel to John Nix. In 1850, John Nix had the land surveyed. This became known as the John Nix survey. Since the survey, this parcel of land has changed hands numerous times. John Nix assigned the land to J. B. Lee in 1854 (4). Cox for six hundred dollars (5). In 1875, Cox’s heirs sold the property to W. F. Perry in order to affect a settlement of their dead father’s estate (6). This sale included all the land that would eventually become the Carrollton Square area.
In October 1879, W. F. Perry, son-in-law of the late Joseph H. Cox, and his wife, Amanda Cox Perry, sold the land to John Miller Myers. John Miller Myers later deeded the land to his son George F. Myers (7) who then began selling lots.
The present Plaza Theater was built on the south side of the Carrollton Square by Mrs. A. R. (Vera) Lowery and her son, John. The Theater was designed by Architect Raymond F. Smith of Dallas (8). The Plaza Theater opened December 23, 1949 (9) and operated continuously until December 31, 1994.
(1) In 1940, 5 Peggy Oliver’s recollections
(2) Elm Fork Echos, Vol. XII, No. 1, April 1984, pp. 20-22
(3) Volume 250, pg. 254 Deed Records, Dallas County, Texas
(4) Patent #254, Volume 9, The General Land Office
(5) Volume F, pg. 280 Deed Records, Dallas County, Texas
(6) Volume 44, pg. 292 Deed Records, Dallas County, Texas
(7) Volume 57, pg. 511 Deed Records, Dallas County, Texas
(8) Peggy Oliver Personal Collection, Dated Electrical Print
(9) Elm Fork Echos, Vol. XII, No. 1, April 1984, pp. 20-22
The Plaza Theater served residents in an approximate ten mile radius, giving Carrollton and the surrounding area just what they wanted after a long Depression and World War II. The architectural style in Brick Moderne, around the country at that time. The exterior is predominantly brick with ceramic tile around the ticket window. The original signage and marquee with neon lighting are still in use today. The lobby has a tiled floor, plaster ceiling with cove lighting, and built-in-seating typical of the time. The auditorium was carpeted, had auditorium chairs, ornate curtains and was built acoustically correct. The Plaza Theater was constructed with quality materials and has withstood forty-five years of continuous use.
The Plaza Theater deserves recognition as one of the sole surviving “Golden Age of Motion Picture theaters for the masses. It has remained unchanged and unblemished and stands as a reminder of days gone by.