The Meteor Theater was designed and constructed by Mr. Harry Kelley at a cost of about $30,000. Mr. Kelley believed theater goers loved good music, so one of his heaviest expenses was the Barton Silver-Toned pipe organ, which was erected at a cost of $6,000 and it was built especially for the Meteor Theater and was the same make as the one in the Palace Theatre in Fayetteville, AR.
The grand opening of the Meteor Theater was August 1, 1927 with over 12,000 people attending. “Venus of Venice”, a strong First National picture at the time, was shown at the grand opening.
D. M. Greer, president of the Rotary Club made the welcoming address and Miss Gladys Cosnel of Fayetteville played several selections on the pipe organ. The Meteor Theater introduced “talkies” on December 20, 1929. It was renamed Plaza Theater by 1940. The pipe organ has been refurbished and is now at the Presbyterian church in Bentonville.
“A large portion of approximately 900 instruments and 650 Amps on display with over half available for purchase, both vintage and new. I say portion because it wont all fit until I’m done with the balcony / museum area. I am going to be adding artwork, pottery and sculpture from local artists as well. Now for the really cool part….I have worked out a deal to purchase an awesome music store called “Fly by Nite” including a very impressive collection of music history”.
“I am living an absolute dream by continuing to grow a collection already containing thousands of historic pieces. The Fly by Nite Collection will be moving to it’s new home at the Meteor over the next few months as we finish renovations in the back half. It will all come together as an awesome vintage guitar and music history museum and cool hangout. I will have some of the rarest music gear you will ever have the opportunity to see located at the Meteor. The collection would take you hours to see it all. I have been looking through it for years and still find multiple new treasures every visit. It’s a lot of history.”
“The old theater room is has become a music venue, coffee bar and hangout. The balcony will become the museum collections home and there will be cool art and sculpture mixed in. If you like music and Art Deco this is going to be a mind blowing place, guaranteed!”
Listen to some of the bands played at The Meteor on Arkansas’ Rockin’ Hog Radio!
See you at the Meteor.