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Birdcage Theater

Birdcage Theater 1940
Birdcage Theater

Birdcage Theater

The Bird Cage Theater is on Allen Street in Tombstone, AZ, and is an icon of America’s wild, wild West. “The New York Times” once said about former gambling hall, saloon and brothel, “the roughest, bawdiest, and most wicked night spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast.” The walls are riddled with over 140 bullet holes and at least 26 people lost their lives here in gun or knife fights. Today this venue holds the distinction of being Tombstone’s most haunted building.

Tombstone began back in 1877, when a prospector named Ed Schieffelin found silver. As news of his fortune spread, the town seemed to popped up overnight as eager miners arrived to the region hoping to strike it rich. Soon saloons, hotels and brothels were added to Tombstone’s main street as quickly as men could build them. At its height, the lawless Tombstone was home to over 3,500 licensed prostitutes.

In December 1881, the Bird Cage Theatre opened its doors, and stayed open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The opera house and saloon was home to some of the most expensive prostitutes and high-stakes gaming in the region. This was where the luckiest miners went to squander their newfound riches. Downstairs was the private poker room where the minimum buy-in was $1,000. Although the players changed, the game was said to have ran continuously for eight years, five months and three days. Some famous names who played here were businessmen Adolph Busch and George Randolph Hearst and notorious outlaws Diamond Jim Brady and Doc Holliday.

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by cnkguy
Birdcage Theater

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