Orpheum Theater - Buena Vista, CO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
N 38° 50.573 W 106° 07.726
13S E 402040 N 4299946
Quick Description: Originally a wooden Opera House that burned, it was rebuilt as a movie theater on the second floor in the early 1900s.
Location: Colorado, United States
Date Posted: 7/2/2011 6:06:09 AM
Waymark Code: WMBXNV
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Big B Bob
Views: 6

Long Description:
"Restoring the Orpheum Theatre to its original glory, as “all things to all people” began in earnest in 1994. For the 20 years prior to that, the 5,000-square foot theater sat vacant, inhabited by only bats and pigeons, with scarce remnants of the hundreds of events it hosted in its prime.

The original theater, the Hiller and Hallock Opera House, was built in 1890 in the same block, but constructed mostly of wood it burned to the ground. “Skinny” Pyle built the current building, which houses the second-floor theater, in 1910.

The ground floor was a Model T dealership operated by “Skinny.” He lived in the east end of the lower level, had his parts department in the middle section and his showroom in the west end of the building.

The one-story portion, most recently Bongo Billy’s Roastery, was a Texaco gasoline filling station, and behind that was a workshop. People attending the theater on the second floor could walk out onto the roof of the workshop to enjoy the view of the mountains and of Main Street.

A former owner of the Chaffee County Times, in describing the Oprheum Theatre, said it was “All Things to All People.” Between 1910 and approximately 1950 the theater served as the community center for every conceivable activity in the Buena Vista area, including silent movies, then “talkies,” dances, plays, graduations, concerts and even basketball games.

John Cogswell purchased the entire building in 1994, but deeded the airspace to the Orpheum Theatre Inc. in 2003, which now owns and operates the theater in its bare-bones condition.

Accomplishments in the past few years have laid a sound foundation for the theater’s future. The Colorado Historical Society designated the building as an historical structure in 1995 (visit link) . The Orpheum Theater, Inc. was formed as a non-profit section {501(c)(3)} corporation in 1997.

Detailed architectural plans for the theater’s restoration, including dressing rooms, rest rooms, balcony seating, an elevator and lobby have been completed, along with plans for acoustics and lighting.

An exquisite gold-leaf sign has been erected in nearly the same location as the original sign, welcoming visitors to the theater, which has hosted several events starting in the summer of 2003. Only structural renovations have been done so far, but the theater’s potential grandeur escapes no one who climbs the 18 stairs from the main level.

Although some money has been raised locally and a few grants awarded to the theater to make it minimally operational, efforts are currently underway for the next phase of local fundraising, which will allow the organization to apply for grants from large foundations.

The next years of the Orpheum Theatre promise to be absolutely the most exciting in the theater’s fascinating history, once again “all things to all people.”" (from (visit link) )

One of the most interesting features are the ornate Egyptian-themed doors. The building is currently undergoing renovations, so so features were not able to be photographed.
Year Theater Opened: 1910

Number of Screen(s): 0

Concessions Available: no

Web site: [Web Link]

Ticket Price (local currency): Not Listed

Matinee Price (local currency): Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
Must take a photo of the theater.
Please try to include yourself or gps in the picture.
Tell of your experience at the theater, if it is still a theater. If it is no longer a theater tell of an experience from the past at the theater, if this can be done.
Search for...
Geocaching.com Google Map
Google Maps
Bing Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest Vintage Movie Theaters
Nearest Geocaches
Nearest Benchmarks
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log  
WalkingDuo visited Orpheum Theater - Buena Vista, CO 8/22/2012 WalkingDuo visited it