Glenwood Springs has a rich history of movie theaters |

Glenwood Springs has a rich history of movie theaters

Frontier DiaryWilla SoncartyRegistrar, Frontier Historical Society and Museum

It was standing-room-only when the Isis Theatre opened its doors for the first time on March 16, 1910. The Glenwood Dramatic Club gave a first-rate performance of the comedy “Men, Maids and Matchmakers,” which kept the audience laughing and applauding throughout the show.Ollie Thorson, the man who built the theater, was pleased to see his latest improvement to Glenwood Springs’ downtown so warmly received. His new building at 823 Grand Ave. was designed to bring culture and entertainment in the form of plays, concerts and moving pictures to town. Soon, the Isis Theatre’s entertainment focus shifted primarily to showing moving pictures. This placed the theater in direct competition with the Odeon Theatre on Seventh Street (located in today’s Eagles Lodge). Realizing there was not enough patronage for two movie houses, the Odeon stopped showing movies in 1912. This made the Isis the only movie house in town. Under the management of Sig Olsen and Walter Powers, the Isis Theatre was remodeled, the equipment upgraded, and the business renamed. Again, a packed house opened the new establishment, now known as the Orpheum Theatre, on March 3, 1914. This time a high-quality four-reel film entertained the patrons. George Weirick purchased the Orpheum Theatre from Ollie Thorson in 1922. He extensively remodeled the building, adding seating capacity. Believing in the vitality of downtown, Weirick not only promoted his business but the businesses of others. In one of Weirick’s promotions, any child purchasing penny candy from the nearby Brosisus Candy Shop could enter his matinee free of charge.The Orpheum became the Glen Theater in 1939. However, in 1983, condemnation forced the closing of the Glen. In 2002, the building, which housed so much of the community’s entertainment history, had to be razed.”Frontier Diary” is provided to the Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Winter hours are 1-4 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

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