Feb 23 2022


5:15 pm - 7:00 pm

Bill Harrison Presentation “Grand & Glorious Theatres” and Dinner

As tent cities in the Arizona Territory grew into ramshackle towns, the settlers yearned for entertainment. Initially, traveling troupes of singers, dancer and actors performed on tiny stages in cramped, smoky saloons. As towns matured, community leaders supported the building of opera houses and theatres to enhance the town’s image and attract desirably citizens. Unfortunately, fire consumed many of the early entertainment houses around the territory. In 1905, the Elks Opera House opened in Prescott. It’s still a community jewel after a $3 million restoration returned the building to its original glory. Opulent Orpheum Theatres opened across the country in the 1920s providing Vaudeville acts a circuit of venues from the East Coast to San Francisco. The Orpheum in Phoenix was the last great theatre built in 1929. The Orpheum was saved from the wrecking ball in 1984 and is today a magnificent performing arts center transporting patrons from the everyday world to a magical place! Before the presentation we will be serving baked spaghetti, side salad, roll and dessert. Tickets are $10.