History

of the Alcazar Theatre

THE ALCAZAR – OUR BEGINNING

The Alcazar (the theater’s original name) opened on April 27, 1928.  Owner, Henry J. Muller invested $50,000 to build the theater that builder Alex C. D’Alfonso claimed was “As Strong and Sturdy as the Rock of Gibralter”.  The opening of the theatre prompted telegrams of congratulations from MGM, Paramount and Christie Films among others to the first proprietor of the theater, long time resident and actor Oliver Prickett (sometimes known as Oliver Blake) of “Ma and Pa Kettle” fame.

Opening night at the Alcazar featured a live band and the premier showing of a comedy “The Fifty-Fifty Girl”….admission was $1.10.

Through the 89 years to follow, the Alcazar changed hands and names…such as the Ritz, the Del Mar, the Tradewinds and for the past few decades, the Plaza Theater, most recently under the management of Metropolitan Theatres.

After almost a decade of being known as the Plaza Playhouse Theater, we’ve changed back to our original namesake — Alcazar Theatre — and look forward to returning our theater to a center of arts and entertainment for the entire Carpinteria Valley community.

OLIVER PRICKET – OUR FOUNDER

The original proprietor of the Alcazar Theater, Oliver Prickett had a long career in the entertainment industry.  Lanky and long-nosed, Oliver acted on stage under the name of Oliver Blake. From the mid-1920s onward, Blake was a fixture at the Pasadena Playhouse, where his brother Charles was managing director and his sister in law Maudie was a resident character actress. At the Playhouse, he starred in such productions as Charley’s Aunt and also taught classes for first-year students. He entered films in 1941, and for his first few years before the camera was confined to bit roles like the Blue Parrot waiter in Casablanca (1942). One of his more visible screen assignments was as dour-faced Indian neighbor Geoduck in Universal’s Ma and Pa Kettle series.

An apparent favorite of comedian Bob Hope, Ollie showed up in a variety of roles in several Hope farces, notably as the “world’s most emaciated Santa Claus” in The Seven Little Foys (1955). On TV, he played the recurring role of Carl Dorf in the 1956 sitcom The Brothers.

Oliver’s Film Credits Include:

Bells Are Ringing  1960

Alias Jesse James  1959

The Fearmakers  1958

Onionhead   1958

Raintree County  1957

The Seven Little Foys  1955

Ma and Pa Kettle at Waikiki  1955

It’s a Dog’s Life  1955

The Cobweb  1955

Susan Slept Here 1954

Ma and Pa Kettle at Home  1954

Hell’s Outpost  1954

Casanova’s Big Night  1954

The Long, Long Trailer  1954

So Big  1953

Julius Caesar  1953

House of Wax  1953

Ma and Pa Kettle on Vacation  1953

Room for One More  1952

Son of Paleface  1952

Fancy Pants  1950

A Woman’s Secret  1949

The Paleface  1948

Moonrise  1948

Nightmare Alley  1947

Out of the Past  1947

Conflict  1945

Mission to Moscow 1943

Casablanca  1942

Saboteur  1942

Shadow of the Thin Man

Summer Holiday

Rhubarb

Sweet Rosie O’Grady

The Belle of New York

Before the Alcazar Theater building was constructed, Ollie presented movies and entertainment from a tent!

The Challenge

The Doughgirls

The Guilty

The Horn Blows at Midnight

The Pied Piper of Hamelin

The Senator Was Indiscreet

The Miracle of the Bells

The Thin Man Goes Home

The Walls of Jericho

Up in Arms

Wake up and Dream

My Reputation

New York Town

Ma and Pa Kettle at the Fair

Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm

Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town

Corvette K-225

Cry of the City

Let’s Live a Little

I Married an Angel

Inside Job

Blonde Alibi

A Medal for Benny

Castle in the Desert

Chain of Circumstance

Colonel Effingham’s Raid

Colorado Territory

Father of the Bride

Feudin’ Fools

Get Hep to Love

Giant from the Unknown

Ginger