Monday, April 20, 2009

The Bird Cage Theatre

Long before the days of eBay themed slot machines, all-you-can eat king crab, and complimentary executive suites, Ariz. was home to one of the Wild West's most infamous gambling establishments. 

The Bird Cage Theatre, located at 517 E. Allen Street in Tombstone, Ariz. now stands as a memorial to one of history's most rowdy, dangerous, and infamous places to play blackjack, poker and faro. The building, which originally opened in 1881, stayed open 24/7 for eight consecutive years, as a bar, casino, and brothel. Wild company and lawlessness lead to shootings, stabbings, and famous guests, including Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. 

As a place to drink, gamble, and sit in "cages," to watch live entertainment, the Bird Cage Theatre was one of Tombstone's most popular attractions. The theatre was also the setting for a continuous poker game that was played every day for eight years, five months and three days. The minimum buy in was $1,000, which led to the Bird Cage Theatre taking in more than $1 Million dollars between 1881 and 1889. 

Today, tourists are able to see the poker and blackjack tables where some of the Old West's most famous figures tested the luck of the draw. With many of the pieces of furniture, and the entire bar still preserved, you can see your reflection in the same mirrors the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday saw their own. 
Of course, you might get more than you bargained for, as the Bird Cage Theatre was the site of 26 murders, and allegedly the restless spirits of the victims still haunt the establishment. 

No comments:

Post a Comment