A Photographic Guide to the Many Faces of Alamo Plaza
In 1938, Joske's, which had grown to four stories through an addition made in 1910, purchased the adjacent Plaza Theater and Conroy Building. The Plaza Theater traced its origins to a radical alteration of the Gallagher Building in 1911 ("In 1938"). It became one of the first theaters to show "talking pictures" in San Antonio.

The adjacent Conroy Building had supported a massive, metal framed sign since 1913. Joske's later used this framework to create its famous Cowboy Sign, which used blinking electric lights to animate a cowboy roping a calf. The sign came down in 1939, when the Conroy and Plaza Theater were demolished for the store's expansion to the corner of Blum Street ("The Electric Cowboy").

About this Image:
Looking southeast towards the corner of Blum and Alamo Streets, c.1938. Left to right: Plaza Theater, Conroy Building, Joske's store. The Reuter Building is in the foreground at the right.

Photo by N. L. DePree, Jr., Courtesy of San Antonio Conservation Society Foundation
Click to Enlarge
c. 1938c. 1938