The Plaza Theater
The following photos are some of the rarest I've come across, and to my knowledge never published before. These photos are circa 1915 of The Plaza Theater, which stood on Summers Street and the building is still there today being used. The Plaza dates back to the time of Vaudeville..... live shows before movie houses were all the rage.
These fine looking gentleman are standing near the main entrance. I believe that these people are with the famous "Al. G. Field Show", who played here often and became friends with many people, including the governor.
It's no wonder why people flocked to this Vaudeville theater. While not overly opulent, it still held magic for those who entered to get away from the daily grind of the turn of the century. See the three tiny windows above the balcony? That appears to be a projection booth for showing silent films, which had just started to catch-on in a big way by the time these photos were taken.
A stage show at the Plaza. These actors are probably the same you saw in the second photo. Some of the actors are dressed in powdered wigs and the finery of the 1700s, while others are in black face. In Al G. Fields book, he states: The greater part of their press work was devoted to informing the public that we were not genuine minstrels, our singers wore white wigs, flesh colored stockings and satin suits. This I believe is another clue that this is in fact a Fields show, not to mention that the guy in the center looks like Field. To learn more about Al G. Field, Click Here
Another stage production at the Plaza. This is an eclectic cast to say the least. You have cowboys and farmers and what appears to be a Bobby. The backdrop suggests the Rockies or someplace out West.
So... where WAS the Plaza Theater?
Click on the photo for the surprising answer.
*Photos courtesy of Dave Blackwell, who found them in a drawer of a table purchased many years ago in Charleston.