• The Gage Hotel – Marathon, Texas

    Gage Hotel
  • Bullion Plaza School – Miami, Arizona

    Bullion Plaza School
  • Hotel El Capitan – Van Horn, Texas

    Hotel El Capitan
  • Val Verde Hotel – Socorro, New Mexico

    Val Verde Hotel
  • The Owls Club – Tucson, Arizona

    Owls Club
  • El Paso High School – El Paso, Texas

    El Paso High School
  • Trost Residence – El Paso, Texas

    Trost Residence
  • Albuquerque High School – Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Albuquerque High School
  • University of Texas El Paso – El Paso, Texas

    University of Texas El Paso

Texas Grand Theatre Building
El Paso, Texas


Description: Texas Grand Theatre Building
Other Names: Orpheum, Texas Street Grand, Texas Grand Hotel
Address: 421 Texas Street (now Texas Avenue), at the northwest corner of Texas Avenue and North Campbell Street, El Paso, El Paso County, Texas
Type: theatre in building complex
Original Client: Texas Street Improvement Company
Date: opened February 26, 1906; alterations 1916; alterations March 25, 1930
Condition: demolished 1952

Architect or Firm: Henry C. Trost
Associated Architect or Firm: Trost & Trost
Contractors: Hewitt & Jones for building; Sorenson & Morgan for brickwork; decoration by Mitchel & Halbach
Dimensions and Orientation: four floors, 90 feet 9 inches x 120 feet; faced south
Budget/Cost: $90,000 for theatre; $115,000 total

Foundation: brick
Wall Materials: buff brick
Roofing Materials: tar and gravel; tin
Other Materials Used: in lobby, onyx wainscoting, ornamental stucco, quartered oak; on exterior, terra cotta ornament, galvanized iron cornice.
Remodeling and Additions: 1916 see “Drawings”; remodeling and addition by Trost & Trost, 1930.

Location of Drawings: El Paso Public Library: (D-2) 22 sheets, ink on linen plans, including side, front and rear elevations, section, details of lobby and exterior ornament, pages 1 through 18; (D-2): 22 sheets, ink on linen plans for alterations and addition, dated January, 1916.
Location of Documentary Photographs: El Paso Public Library: Ponsford 104, building can be seen at far right; Aultman A5877, perspective view before completion of theatre canopy; A5938; A5194, view of El Paso, the theatre in the center; an album, “El Paso Photographic History, Volume One: Public Buildings, Business, Churches, Banks, Hotels and Theaters, Property of the El Paso Chamber of Commerce” [undated, by about 1909], photograph of interior, with stress on proscenium ornament

Bibliography: (1) Trost & Trost, Architects (El Paso: Trost & Trost, 1907), page 26 (rendering of proscenium arch), page 31 (rendering of Texas Street facade)
(2) “The Texas Street Opera House Linked up with Strong Circuit” El Paso Herald, May 30, 1906, page 12, (rendering of elevation); on page 14 of the same issue: “Wiring of Opera Houses to Be Standard” (description of electrical wiring of the Texas Grand and another theatre)
(3) “Great Masses of Steel Will Make New Theater Model of Strength,” El Paso Herald, November 28, 1906, page 12 (description of the use of steel for structural purposes and as conduits for wiring “Twelve thousand dollars’ worth of steel is being put into the building”
(4) El Paso Herald, January 30, 1907, page 12, photograph of a rendering
(5) El Paso Herald, February 27, 1907, page 7, “Opening of Texas Street Grand” (extensive description, praise by visiting theatre manager); page 9 (interior photographs, editorial praise for Trost & Trost)
(6) “Will Enlarge El Paso Theater,” El Paso Post, March 25, 1930 (description of remodeling and enlarging by Trost & Trost)

(7) Donald L. Wilson, “Falling Bricks Sound Dirge for Colorful El Paso Landmark, Old Texas Grand Theater,” El Paso Times, November 14, 1952, photograph of demolition and brief history
(8) Frank Mangan, El Paso in Pictures (El Paso: The Press, 1971), page 107 (exterior photograph made in 1925)
(9) Ed Kimble, “El Paso Theater in its Prime,” El Paso Times, Sunday, February 12, 1978, [entertainment supplement], pages 10, 11, and
14 (photograph of exterior on page 11; photograph of demolition on page 14)

Remarks: Although the Texas Grand was a multipurpose building, it is classified under “theatres” as it is best remembered for the theatre.The theatre was host to vaudeville, legitimate plays (including traveling Shakespearian companies), silent motion pictures, and, from 1932, talking motion pictures.
Editorial comment from item 5 in the above bibliography (page 9) began with this passage: “Although many artistic and beautiful works have come from the shop of Trost & Trost, the architects, the Texas street Grand is conspicuous as one of their marked achievements in El Paso. Complete in every detail, scientific, elegant and artistic, the theater is all that even the most exacting showman could desire.”
In March 25, 1930- Callis-Bakers players closed and improvement began on the building. It included concrete floors for lower floors, luxurious carpets, new upholstered chairs for both orchestra and balcony. Seating capacity was at 1000.
Prepared for the El Paso Public Library by Lloyd C. and June F. Engelbrecht under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, 1990