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THE BIRD CAGE THEATRE  
IN TOMBSTONE ARIZONA, HAD ITS GRAND OPENING ON DEC 24, 1881. IT GAINED A REPUTATION AS ONE OF THE WICKEDEST THEATERS BETWEEN NEW ORLEANS AND SAN FRANCISCO. THE NEW YORK TIMES REPORTED...

"THE BIRD CAGE THEATRE IS THE WILDEST, WICKEDEST NIGHT SPOT, BETWEEN
BASIN STREET AND THE BARBARY COAST."
 


FOR EIGHT YEARS, FROM 1881 TO 1889, THE BIRD CAGE THEATER OPERATED CONTINUOUSLY, 24 HOURS A DAY, 365 DAYS A YEAR.
LEGEND HAS IT THAT 26 PEOPLE
WERE KILLED IN THE BIRD CAGE THEATER DURING ITS REPUTED YEARS AS ONE
OF THE WILDEST AND MEANEST PLACES IN TOMBSTONE AZ. OVER ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY BULLET HOLES REMAIN IN THE BUILDING.VISITORS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE BIRD CAGE THEATER IN TOMBSTONE AZ, HAVE REPORTED SEEING THE SPIRITS OF FORMER PROSTITUTES AND MEN IN COWBOY HATS. SOME CLAIM TO BE TOUCHED AND PUSHED BY UNSEEN FORCES. AT NIGHT, THE SOUNDS OF LAUGHTER, YELLING AND MUSIC HAVE BEEN HEARD, AS THOUGH THE PARTIES OF "THE OLD WEST" WERE STILL RAGING.

GHOST TOUR info

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GIFT SHOP info

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SHOT GLASSES info

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WANTED POSTERS info

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BORDELLO PHOTOS info

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bordello token info

The Bird Cage Theater Tours
SELF GUIDED TOURS

HOURS: DAILY 9 AM - 6 PM.
PHONE: 520-457-3421
ADMISSION: $12
CHILDREN 8 TO 18: $10
SENIORS 60+  $11
FAMILY PACK: $34


NIGHTLY GHOST TOURS
HOURS: DAILY 6:15 PM & 8 PM.
(CALL TO VERIFY)
PHONE: 520-457-3421 ADMISSION: $20

MORE INFORMATION
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What guests are saying...

One of the only original buildings that survived the fires. Really cool and historic - it was crazy to see the amount
of bullet holes! Employees were very knowledgeable. Awesome experience.

— Brea M.

I've been to the infamous Bird Cage Theater 4 times in 6 years, and I always learn something new with every trip. Gambling,
drinking, shows, and prostitution. What more could an old cowboy or prospector ask for in the 1880's...

— Anthoney H.

They have a haunted tour available after hours. Well worth it! Had the battery on my camera drained and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
There are spirits there!

— Lisa D.

Lottie and William Hutchinson opened The Bird Cage Theatre in 1881. Hutchison, a variety performer, intended to present respectable family shows like he'd seen in San Francisco that were thronged by large crowds. When The Bird Cage opened, they hosted a Ladies Night for the respectable women of Tombstone, who could attend for free. The economics of Tombstone didn't support their aspirations. They soon canceled the Ladies Night and began offering entertainment that appealed to the rough mining crowd.

Tombstone Fudge

Top-Rated Fudge
in Tombstone Arizona
Tombstone AZ Events.

Tombstone Helldorado Days
October 19  - October 21
Tombstone AZ Ghost Tours.

NightlyTours inside
The Bird Cage Theater
.
Tombstone AZ Directions.

Driving Directions to
Tombstone, Arizona.
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Once inside, customers could buy a drink at the "Belly-Up" bar. The bar was made in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, shipped on the Star of India around the tip of South America to the west coast of Mexico, then hauled by freight wagon the rest of the way. The main hall contained a 15 by 15 feet stage about 5 feet above the main floor, and an orchestra pit. The stage was lit by a row of gas jets along the front side. There were fourteen boxes on two balconies on either side of the main hall. A dumbwaiter at the end of the bar was used to hoist up the whiskey, beer and cigars to the patrons in the box seats.

In the basement, a poker room was the site of the longest-running poker game in history. Played continuously twenty-four hours a day for eight years, five months, and three days, As much as $10,000,000 changed hands during the marathon game, with the house retaining 10 percent. Some of the participants were Doc Holliday, Bat Masterson, Diamond Jim Brady, George Hearst, and Adolphus Busch of the Busch Brewery.

In March 1882, miners in the Grand Central Mine hit water at 620 feet. The flow wasn't at first large enough to stop work, but constant pumping with a 4 inches pump was soon insufficient. The silver ore deposits they sought were soon underwater. Hutchinson sold the Birdcage to Hugh McCrum and John Stroufe and they sold it again in January 1886 to Joe Bignon.Bignon refurbished the building and renamed it the Elite Theatre. He hired new acts interspersed with the bawdy entertainment the miners were used to. Bignon's wife, known as "Big Minnie", was 6 feet tall and weighed 230 pounds. She wore pink tights and sang, danced, played the piano, and sometimes acted as madam to the prostitutes and bouncer. The large Cornish engines brought in by the mine owners kept the water pumped out of the mines for a few more years, but on May 26, 1886, the Grand Central Mine hoist and pumping plant burned. When the price of silver slid to 90 cents an ounce a few months later, the remaining mines laid off workers. Many residents of Tombstone left.The Bird Cage Theatre closed in 1889.

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The building was kept closed until it was purchased in 1934, when the new owners found that almost nothing had been disturbed since it had been closed in 1889. It has become a tourist attraction and is open to the general public year-round.The theater is reported to be haunted. It was featured in the paranormal investigation shows Ghost Hunters in 2006, Ghost Adventures in 2009 and 2014, Ghost Lab in 2009, and Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files in 2010.

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