Plaza Theatre

2 Biltmore Avenue,
Asheville, NC 28801

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Famous Players, Paramount Pictures Inc.

Styles: Art Deco

Nearby Theaters

Plaza Theatre

The Plaza Theatre was located in the heart of downtown Asheville in Pack Square. It opened January 12, 1925 with Douglas Fairbanks in “The Thief of Bagdad”. It was operated by Famous Players-Lasky. By 1941 it was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary Carl Bamford. It was twinned on December 18, 1969. It was closed in July 1985.

Contributed by Mark Huffstetler

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

Ruthie22260 on August 19, 2016 at 8:58 pm

@ mtnhawk, would you know how to find out about an employee of the Plaza 1 & 2 in 1970, and on through maybe 1973 whose name was Gene? He was young, maybe high school or college age. My best friend and I who were 10 in 1970 would go there with our little sisters and brothers and Gene was so nice to us. It was as much fun to see him as it was to go to the movies. We only knew him as Gene. It would be fun to know where he is now.

drew hawkins
drew hawkins on August 20, 2016 at 5:05 pm

yes i remember gene. he had already moved on when i started there. he was the assistant manger and also did all the advertising for the plaza. i cant remember his last name. he was probably in his early 20’s tall thin and black headed and wore glasses. he was very intelligent and gay. im 58 now so he is in his early 60’s . i dont know if he still lives in asheville i left there in 1983 and moved to virginia. i still miss the plaza it was the best time i ever had working there.

Ruthie22260 on August 20, 2016 at 6:45 pm

@mtnhawk…thank you so much for answering! I am so delighted to just know something…you know, you just remember those very special people from your childhood, and you wonder where they went. In my memory he was exactly as you describe,glasses and all. I was 9/10 when we first met Gene, and had a very minimal understanding of Gay, but I do remember somehow comprehending that he was. I had a gay uncle. You know every single gay man I have ever known has been the kindest of people. Gene had the best personality. And you are right , he was very intelligent. We dearly loved him. He was there and then ‘poof’ he was gone, and I really don’t remember what age I was when he was no longer there. I do remember we asked where Gene was, and someone told us he didn’t work there anymore.We were too young and perhaps ‘too respectful’ at the time to have pressed for more information, but I wish we had. I remember that we were very disappointed. I would love to think that he is somewhere enjoying a wonderful life today. Perhaps with the information you have already provided, in both your response to me, and your first post of Jan. 23, 2015 I can get closer to finding his last name. With Facebook, finding people is a lot easier if you just have a few pieces of information. Thank you so much. I am sure I would have seen you at the Plaza too…it was my favorite movie theater in Asheville and I went there all the time, up until it closed. But, in that you didn’t throw me up on your shoulders like Gene did…lol! Well, actually in 80-82 I was 20 to 22, so you wouldn’t have done that! haha!

What led me to this site “Cinematreasures” was actually a Face Book post of the very photograph at the top of this page. I posted the picture with a shout-out to Elizabeth, my best friend, who I mentioned in my question to you, asking her if she remembered our fun friend Gene who would toss us all around like we were his brothers and sisters. Of course she remembers Gene as well as I do. Elizabeth lives in Iowa now. Anyway that got a tremendous conversation started, with so many people commenting and several people said they loved it when they played the Bruce Lee, James Bond and Horror movies, also the late nights and weekend matinees, just as you mentioned above. lol! Now it’s so funny that I am talking to you…the one responsible for all that!

I was really into horror movies… I am sure I saw every single one that was there. I am totally a James Bond fan, and Bruce Lee. I am sure I saw all that. I come from a big family of movie lovers. One of the things I make sure to do as a mom is to make sure my son sees ALL the great movies. I mean going way, way back to the beginning of cinema. Even the silent films. Movies are wonderful entertainment but they can can literally change people’s lives for the better.

Well, sorry this is so long, but thank you so much! I am so pleased to meet you, and to know you were there at my favorite theater. I was so sad when it closed. Also, if you ever find anything out about Gene, I have subscribed here and will be notified if you post another comment.I am still in Asheville. I lived in Martinsville Virginia when I was in kindergarten and first grade.Then we moved to Atlanta, then here to Asheville when I was in 5th, and I have been here ever since. Asheville is a great town. Take Care. :)

rivest266 on August 21, 2016 at 3:10 am

This opened on January 12th, 1925. Grand opening ad in the photo section

rivest266 on August 21, 2016 at 10:38 am

December 18th, 1969 grand opening ad as a twin cinema also in the photo section.

drew hawkins
drew hawkins on August 28, 2016 at 10:16 am

hey ruthie i remember something about gene. he went to work for sky city department stores as their ad manager. i think they might have went out of busisness in the early 90’s?. is the merimon twins on merrimon ave. still operating? or the ashevlle west?and what did they do to the plaza after it closed?

toby11 on October 25, 2019 at 12:52 pm

I worked at The Plaza from 1957-59 first an usher and then head usher. Gene was mgr. and I’ve forgotten the assistant mgr’s. Name. The gentleman who popped the pop corn and kept the place spotless was also a minister with seven or eight children. He invited the employees to his Sunday service, a small black church as I remember, and oh what a blessing. Only wish I could remember their names. I left for Great Lakes and the Navy at a young age of 17. Fond memories! My email is Kenneth Eugene Gaddy

toby11 on October 25, 2021 at 12:52 pm

Additional comment from TOBY 11: If anyone knows IRMA JEAN PARKER (BYRD), a former employee and friend, please have her contact me at Thank you, Kenneth Eu(Gene) Gaddy

50sSNIPES on November 8, 2021 at 4:49 pm

Closed In July 1985.

toby11 on April 12, 2022 at 6:34 am

If anyone knows or has knowledge of employees during 1957-59 (Irma Parker/Boyd, Judy Monroe, etc.), please contact me at , or 540.370.1642. As indicated in my comments above, I was head usher during most of that time, and would like to reconnect with those folks. Thank you, Ken (Gene) Gaddy

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