The original building was designed by architect George Kiester and opened 25th February 1922 as the Earl Carroll Theater with seating for 1,000.
The first few shows did not do well but there was some success with The Gingham Girl (28/8/22) and Earl Carroll’s Vanities of 1923 (5/7/23).
With the advent of the depression Carroll’s fortunes floundered and he rented the theatre to Radio Pictures.
Carroll decided he needed a bigger space and with the backing of William R.
Edrington, a Texas oil baron, bought the land East of the theatre for $1m and levelled the building.
He spent a further $4.5m creating a new theatre which was an art deco masterpiece once again designed by architect George Keister with the interior designed by Joseph Babolnay.
The new lobby was three times bigger than the old one.
Seating capacity was tripled with 1500 seats in the orchestra, 200 in boxes and the loge and 1300 on the balcony.
In the 60 x 100 feet space under the balcony lounge areas were created.
It was the first theatre to be cooled backstage, in the auditorium and public areas.
The premier attraction was Earl Carroll’s Vanities of 1931 (27/8/31), but Carroll could not make the theatre a success since operating costs for such lavish shows were high and the ticket prices low due to the depression.
Within six months he had lost the theatre Carroll and was sued for back rent, taxes and interest.