What can you tell us about the history of The Plaza?
The OldDowntownPlazaArtsCenter is located in the old Plaza Theater, a historical landmark on the Square in Old Downtown Carrollton (I-35E & Belt Line Road). The theater was opened in 1949, and became a venue for gospel music in the late ‘90’s before converted into art galleries in 2003. The Plaza was renovated in 2006 by the present building owner, Clarence Teng.
The Plaza now hosts a wide variety of activities, including special events and parties, both public and private in a unique setting. Some activities include weddings, receptions, Quinceaneras, concerts, plays, recitals, and on-going ballroom and folkdance classes. The Plaza also has art and stone galleries, and a gift shop carrying arts and crafts made by local artists.
We also accept requests for long term venue rentals, and offer lease of retail and gallery space for general art-related items.
What are your goals for the Plaza?
To develop the Plaza Arts Center into a venue that hosts ongoing diversified entertainment for everyone, and to increase awareness in the community and surrounding communities that the Plaza is a multi-use venue for all types of events. It will be such an exciting time in the not-too-distant future, when the community will begin to wonder “what’s happening at the Plaza this weekend?”!
What’s something you wish more people knew about The Plaza?
We would like everyone to know that the Plaza is a versatile and unique rental facility for many types of public or private events, as well as an art and stone gallery.
What are some of your duties as president of the Old Downtown Carrollton Association?
To oversee the monthly organizational meeting and serve on the Board of Directors.
How do you think Historic Downtown Carrollton will change with the arrival of DART later this year?
All merchants and members of the Old Downtown Carrollton Association are hoping for a revitalization of the historic downtown area that will bring increased business and foot traffic to the stores and restaurants. It is our hope that in the near future, people will be excited about coming to the historic downtown area for shopping, eating and entertainment, or just to have a casual stroll around the square to enjoy the evening.
What do you do in your free time?
When I have a free night, I enjoy going out with friends and eating dinner or going to hear music and dancing.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
It was one of the biggest thrills and highlights of my life when I recorded a country/pop album in Nashville back in 1992, and also performed in a country music duet called “Blue Texas”. Patsy Cline has always been one of my favorite artists, and I occasionally performed some of her songs.
What inspires you?
Some of my inspirations come from friends, acquaintances or strangers, often in unexpected ways, such as a simple random act of kindness. Inspiration doesn’t have to come in big “wow” packages, but sometimes in the simple things of life. Inspiration is seeing someone achieve their dream or make a giant step toward it.
What are some upcoming events at The Plaza about which you’re excited?
“The Legend Lives On” with Kraig Parker, international award winning Elvis Tribute Artist
The Johnny Cash show staring Bennie Wheels and the Tennessee Three Band
The Sweet Sound Band, Oldies, Rock and R&B (music and dancing)