History is being restored at Denver’s first professional theater which opened in May 1890. The Historic Elitch Theatre was left behind in 1994 when the Elitch Gardens amusement park moved its location to the Central Platte Valley.

In 2006, the Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre Foundation received $5 million in federal, state, and city grants and private donations, which helped kickstart the restoration process of the venue. Finally this summer they are able to open its doors again to host large audiences for live music shows. Last Saturday, the Sweet Lillies and The Sunnyside All-Star String Band performed at the theater for a fundraiser benefiting the Sunnyside Music Festival.

Tracy Frickey,  president of The Historic Elitch Theatre Foundation, stated, “The community is becoming more aware of us. They want it to become a venue again.”

The Historic Elitch Theatre, West Highland, June 3, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
The Historic Elitch Theatre, West Highland, June 3, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

With the “soft” opening of the Theatre, this gives great hopes for the community and the long awaiting reopening of the space. Donations are still encouraged as the building remains in the third phase of its restoration and needs at least an additional $2 million of improvements. Once this is done, they will be a fully operational venue for both large and medium sized events.

For more info on the venue click here.

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