The Wetmore Building

 500 12th Street, Carrizozo, NM, USA

500 12th Street, Carrizozo, NM, USA

 

about the Wetmore Building…

An adobe structure built in 1916 for Ira O. Wetmore, this trio of adjoining buildings starting on the left with rooms for rent on the corner upstairs with a dining room and mini-mall on the ground floor eventually became the El Cibola Hotel in use until the 1970s.  The middle building was Western Motors, Inc., which became a Ford Dealership and Garage and then Sierra Blanca Brewery took over the space until 2005.  The southern-most building was the Carrizozo Theatre with orchestra pit and dancing girls on a curtained stage, typical of those in Western towns of the time.  George J. Dingwall showed motion pictures in a back room of what is now the Masonic Temple and then purchased the theater and changed its name to the Crystal Opera House to emphasize the crystal lens magnifying the film's image on the silver screen.  With the advent of sound, it became the Lyric Theatre where the first talking picture was shown in 1931.  The last show was held in 1979, and it has been empty since then.  In 2016, the complex was purchased by a local couple who are renovating it to become a community arts center.