Built on Wharton's Courthouse Square, the Plaza Hotel began circa 1904 as a two-story brick structure with a large dining room on the first floor and 20 rooms to let. Owned and operated by R. B. Huston and his wife Lula Merriwether Huston, the Plaza Hotel was the site of many community activities, conventions, and civic and club banquets.
A third floor added in 1929 expanded the rooming capacity of the hotel, and included a small opera house. Wharton's first radio station began in July 1933 and operated from the third floor. Wharton was one of many cities that participated in the World Bridge Olympics in 1934; the local tournament was conducted at the Plaza Hotel.
The lot on which the hotel stood was sold in 1941 to Long-Griffith Theaters. The hotel was gutted and a movie theater built within the brick shell in 1941, and a gala grand opening was held in March 1942. One of three movie theaters in Wharton, the Plaza Theatre operated until the 1970s, when it was closed.
In 1990 the Community Theater of Wharton reopened the Plaza Theater to provide live entertainment for the region.