A Photographic Guide to the Many Faces of Alamo Plaza
Venues such as the Plaza Theater, Scholz Palm Garden, Grand Opera House and the bandstand in the park offered other forms of entertainment on the plaza.

The Grand Opera House was designed by J.B. McElfatrick and Son of St. Louis. It opened to great fanfare in 1886 as a place of elite entertainment where locals could enjoy "all the comforts and pleasures of a metropolitan theater..." including a full orchestra ("Thespian Temple"). Many famous actors graced its stage, including Sara Bernhardt and Edwin Booth (brother to John Wilkes Booth). The Opera House also offered innovation: it was the first place in San Antonio to show moving pictures, as well as experimental sound clips (Mosebach, "Memories").

The opera house became a motion picture theater, known as "The Grand" in 1922. It was ultimately demolished in the 1940s ("Program of Improvement").

About this Image:
Alamo Plaza, looking west through the park at two women standing on a path. In the background, left to right, are the Reuter Building, the Opera House, and the Wickes Building. The Opera House was also the first building to install fire escapes in San Antonio (Mosebach, "Memories").

To Learn More:
Courtesy of San Antonio Conservation Society Foundation
Click to Enlarge
c. 1891c. 1891
Site MapSite Map