Sunday, 15 September 2013

Aspen Nightlife – The Wheeler Opera House

The Wheeler Opera House has been an

integral part of Aspen nightlife, history, and

culture since 1889 when Mr. J.B Wheeler and

the Conried Company presented The King’s

Fool. While the building started out as an

Opera House, it was only used for town

meetings and such by 1893, when the silver

mines had played out.

The Wheeler Opera House remained open until

1912 when it was gutted by not one, but two

fires in one week! The Opera House did not

open again until June of 1946 when it was

leased by the Aspen Company. The total

restoration went on until 1960. Between the

years of 1912 and 1946 the Wheeler Opera

House remained empty, and it was used as

a playground by the local children.

During the 1960’s and 1970’s, The Wheeler

Opera House was mainly used as a movie

theater. However, in 1979, the city decided to

restore the Opera House to its original

grandeur, and this restoration was completed

in 1984. The cost was 4.5 million dollars.

Today, the Wheeler Opera House is on the

National Registrar of Historical Places.

Many events, such as lectures, concerts, plays,

films, and musicals are held at The Wheeler

Opera House today. You can see Broadway

shows, jazz concerts, country and rock

concerts, and even children’s theater here.

Any type of cultural event you can imagine

is held here – and shows are scheduled

throughout the year. Locals consider the

Wheeler Opera House the ‘crown jewel of Aspen.

’ Nationwide, it is considered a world class theater

– and with the detailed woodwork it is certainly a

sight to behold!

The Opera House is still in its original location

on Hyman Avenue, in the heart of downtown

Aspen. You can call to find out what events are

planned, and to purchase tickets. Remember

that this is a popular place, and shows do sell

out quickly – so purchase your tickets as early

as possible. You should also be aware that

children under the age of three years old are

not permitted for live performances, unless the

performance is for children specifically.

Cameras and recording devices are not

permitted for performances.

The Wheeler Opera House can also be rented

for a variety of special occasions and events,

such as parties, receptions, weddings,

conferences, and seminars. Events such as

these are usually held on the second floor,

where guests will enjoy a breathtaking view of

Aspen Mountain, as well as the city.

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