The moment John Wayne arrives at the 1953 world premiere of Hondo at the Plaza Theatre: Trish Long.

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In late 1953 all eyes were on El Paso as the Plaza Theater hosted two motion picture movie premieres in about two months. On Sept. 21, 1953, there was the premiere of “Take the High Ground!” filmed in part at Fort Bliss, starring Richard Widmark and Karl Malden.

Then on Nov. 25, the Times reported that movie officials were here to prepare for the world premier of “Hondo” starring John Wayne : Officials of Warner Bros. Studios and Interstate Theaters Inc. are expected to begin arriving in El Paso Tuesday morning to prepare the activities to be coincidental to a premiere showing in the Plaza Theater Wednesday of the new motion picture, ‘Hondo.’

Wayne to arrive with a group of stars : John Wayne, star of the three-dimensional, Warner Phonic sound picture, will arrive here from Houston at 10:55 a.m. Wednesday with a group of stars and officials who will attend the first public appearance and premiere of the movie.With Wayne will be Ward Bond who also is featured in the motion picture.

The picture was filmed on location in Camargo, Chih., Mexico, with the co-operation of the Mexican government. While shooting was in progress, the movie company made frequent trips to El Paso to screen the shots in Sunday morning sessions in the Plaza Theater.

A luncheon for members of the press and El Paso, Juárez and Chihuahua dignitaries will be held in honor of the star in Hotel Paso del Norte at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. Afterwards, Wayne will make appearances in the theater at 3:15, 8:45 and 9:20 p.m . Officials to arrive Tuesday include Frank Starz, publicity director, and William O’Donnell, vice president of Interstate Theaters.

A luncheon for members of the press and El Paso, Juárez and Chihuahua dignitaries will be held in honor of the star in Hotel Paso del Norte at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. Afterwards, Wayne will make appearances in the theater at 3:15, 8:45 and 9:20 p.m.

Officials to arrive Tuesday include Frank Starz, publicity director, and William O’Donnell, vice president of Interstate Theaters.A caravan of 10 cars, including the two Lincolns which won second and fourth places in the Pan American Road Race, was escorted from the airport to Hotel Paso del Norte by a police motorcycle patrol.

Immediately after arriving in the hotel, Warner Bros. presented a luncheon for the group, members of the press and television, and dignitaries from El Paso, Juárez, Chihuahua City and Camargo.Chris Fox of the State National Bank was master of ceremonies and introduced the special guests who included Jose Martinez, President of the city of Camargo in which the film was made; Gen. Pablo Martinez, chief of police of Juarez; a representative of Gov. Oscar Soto Maynes of Chihuahua William O’Donnell, vice president of Interstate Theaters Inc., and Sheriff W.O. ‘Jimmy’ Hicks.

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