The Plaza Theater has been the heart of downtown Humboldt since the early 1940’s. The original construction included one large auditorium with a balcony, and the total capacity of the theater was listed as 800 in the Film Daily Yearbook of 1943. The balcony had its own exterior entrance as well as rest rooms on the third level.
The 1980’s saw major transformations in the Plaza Theater. The balcony was closed, and the lower level of the auditorium was divided in to two halves.
These new halves each formed the two auditoriums currently in use today. Later a section of the balcony was remodeled to create a third auditorium on the upper level. At that time, the third floor rest rooms and the balcony’s exterior exit were sealed off.
During the mid-1980’s the theater was purchased by Danny Abbott and his wife who lived in the theater apartment on the second floor. Due to the illness of his wife, they eventually moved back to the Memphis, TN area. While he tried to keep it open by running movies on the weekends and later hiring a live-in manager, the Plaza Theater eventually closed in the early 1990’s.
They also updated the sound and projection systems to keep up to date with the demands for superior picture quality and sound. Mr. Young said about the upgrades, “Our philosophy has always been to provide a state of the art entertainment experience at a price that is affordable for the whole family.”
With this goal in mind, they have kept ticket and concession price much lower than other theaters in the area.
On January 2, 2007 Reel Time Entertainment (a local corporation owned by Jason Tubbs, Michael Longmire, and Jeff Brown) purchased the theater from Ken and Linda Young. The idea behind the purchase was to keep a local business alive in downtown Humboldt and operated by lifelong citizens of Humboldt. The Plaza Theater continued shows first run movies nightly under the new management.
February 2007 marked the beginning of the new era for the Plaza 3. During January, the theater underwent renovations that included new carpet and tile in the lobby and theaters and fresh paint throughout the entire building. The Grand Opening was held on February 17th. The occasion was celebrated with an open house that included movie and concession specials throughout the day and door prizes for many lucky patrons.
Reel Time Entertainment owners, Michael Longmire and Jason Tubbs, announced in January 2013 a $250,000 capital investment in the form of major upgrades to the Plaza Theater. Their plans centered around updating the projection and sound systems to a state of the art, completely digital format. These changes allowed them to begin showing 3D films in RealD 3D and playing all features in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. Additionally, seating upgrades, a new automation system, and new wall coverings were installed to accompany the new screens, and projection and sound systems. They also announced that a price increase for tickets. However the Plaza 3 remains competitively priced with theaters of the same size and delivers the highest levels of customer service and unsurpassed quality in picture and sound.