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Plaza Theatre History

The original building, located at 521 W. State Street, dates back to 1918 and served as the Cole & Davis Drygood Store. The Plaza Theatre officially opened on April 4, 1941. The opening show premiered at 7 p.m. and starred Robert Young, Randolph Scott, Dean Jagger, and Virginia Gilmore in “Western Union.” The Plaza was the third theatre on the downtown square, all of which were owned and operated by H.R. (Bis) and Jennie Bisby.

The Plaza opened as a cornerstone location on the downtown square and was the most modern complex available in the suburb area. In 1950, the current façade was designed by Dallas architect Jack Grogan. Following the advent of television, the success of local area theatres suffered. The Bisbys removed themselves from active participation in the late 1950’s and rented the facility to other theatre operators.

In the mid to late 1970s, the facility was utilized as a performance center for local country-western groups. After Mrs. Bisby’s death, John Skelton, trustee of the estate, donated the Plaza Theatre to the City of Garland in December 1991.