Tricky Falls: Its History and its Current State
By Tatiana Rodriguez
The History of Tricky Falls
Tricky Falls was a live music venue in El Paso, Texas with a rich history dating back to the early 1900s. Located in the Henry C. Trost building, it was originally known as the Alhambra Theater, then renamed the Palace Theater. The theater opened on August 1, 1914 and was used as a playhouse and movie house. The Palace Theater was "a Moorish movie palace that showed 'the highest class of pictures obtainable,' according to historians Lloyd C. and June Marie F. Engelbrecht, who produced an extensive study of Trost's works" (Montes). The first film the theater showed was "The Adventures of Kitty Cobb." It later became various establishments, "including several different nightclubs, before being taken over in 2011 by those in the industry (musicians, bar owners, etc.) where it was transformed into" Tricky Falls (joybeat.com).
Abundant Living Purchases Tricky Falls
Tricky Falls closed in October 2018 after its lease expired and was purchased by El Paso businessmen Greg, Gilbert and Robert Malooly of Abundant Living Faith Center, one of the largest churches in the US. "The church paid for the building in full with cash. The purchase price was not disclosed" (Montes). Even though plans for the building are pending, its location could help with outreach programs and be part of an effort to give services in Spanish. Abundant Living wants to reach out to the 30,000 residents in the Downtown El Paso area. But what is to come for Tricky Falls' former owners? Former co-owner Bobbie Welch said she is taking a break from not having a concert hall after seven years of ownership, but hopes to reinvent herself in the upcoming years (Montes).
The El Paso Music Scene
When Tricky Falls permanently closed, it shocked venue owners and show goers. It was a place where both touring and local bands were booked that brought people from El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico together. Despite the music hall's closure, local musicians and venue owners hope the El Paso music scene will continue to grow. Leo Lara, the manager of the Monarch bar in West El Paso, has proposed to open another venue known as Warsaw on First Street and South Florence Street to replace Tricky Falls. "Lara hopes that even with the new location and the growth of other music venues like Lowbrow and Rockhouse, it can create a more united scene" (Aguirre). He plans to continue to book local bands at this bar and support the expanding music scene.