The Foundation’s vision is for the Historic Elitch Theatre is to become a renowned venue in Northwest Denver for the production, study, and celebration of the performing arts. The renovated Historic Elitch Theatre will once again become a community focal point and a place where everyone, regardless of age, ethnicity, cultural experience or financial position, can discover the magic of the arts.
The City of Denver’s Office of Economic Development has awarded the Elitch Theatre a grant for $425,000 to restore the interior. A generous gift to celebrate 120 years! Funds will be released when 25% of the award is matched in contributions.
Colorado Lt. Governor Joe Garcia & Claire Garcia
Guillermo “Bill” Vidal & Gabriela Cornejo
The Elitch Center for Arts Education*
Theatre promotes the kind of thinking, enthusiasm, self-esteem and discipline that are requisites in today’s workforce. The Historic Elitch Theatre Foundation believes that in addition to restoring the main theatre complex, it is critical to the revitalization effort of this grand facility to establish The Elitch Center for Arts Education. As Mary Elitch did long ago, The Elitch Theatre Foundation would like to bring the focus of the Elitch Theatre back to the community and enriching the lives of children. In a time when arts programs are being eliminated from schools due to budget cuts, The Elitch Center for Arts Education will fill that void with in-depth programming and provide broad based opportunities to serve the diverse population of Denver’s youth and families.
In addition to the desire for the Theatre to be restored as a performing arts center, community members identified two other potential needs:
- Arts Education – Within northwest Denver, there is limited youth programming both in the summer and throughout the school year. North High School, West High School, Arrupe Jesuit School, and Cesar Chavez Academy currently do not have theatre programs. In order to take advantage of existing youth programming in Denver, parents must pay premium prices at the downtown arts centers or travel to the east and south sides of Denver.
- Community Center (The Heart of Highlands) – The Highland Village and surrounding the neighborhood does not have sufficient community gathering spaces. The availability of central meeting venues in Northwest Denver for Homeowners Associations, political groups, clubs, etc is scarce. The development of the Master Facility Plan for restoration will include the creation of flexible meeting spaces to address this need.
The revitalization of the Historic Elitch Theatre is part of a greater effort of community development, linking the past with the present, in response to an identified gap in the Denver theatre community.
Currently, the Historic Elitch Theatre building is uninhabitable and dilapidated. There is no building foundation besides the ground on which the pillars stand. There are no restrooms, no electricity, heating, or plumbing. However, walking into the building you get a true sense of the grandeur that it housed in the past. The theatre building is octagonal in structure with a spa-cious first-floor lobby that wraps around five of the eight sides. The second floor consists of a balcony with room for 100 additional seats and side box seats.
*The Elitch Center for Arts Education will serve to address both these community needs.