Elks Opera House

117 E. Gurley Street,
Prescott, AZ 86301

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ELKS OPERA HOUSE, Prescott, Arizona.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Elks Opera House opened on April 3, 1904 hosting live theater, vaudeville, community events, dances and other functions. The first silent film was shown in 1915. Original seating was 736. The architect was John J.R. Minor Jr.

By the mid-20th century, it had become a movie house. In the mid-1970’s, it opened again as a live theater for a time.

Though primarily a venue for live entertainment today, films are also still shown on ocassion at the Opera House.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 10, 2005 at 4:50 pm

Actually the first silent movie shown was “Birth of a Nation" and that movie wasn’t shown until 1915, not 1905.

The Cinema Arrives:
“The 1910 film masterpiece, “Birth of a Nation,” was shown at the Elks in 1915. During the silent film era the theater had a small orchestra to provide the accompanying music. By 1929 the silent movie days were over, their demise due to the Western Electric sound system. With the arrival of sound, cowboys and Indians thrilled the audience. In 1927 projection equipment was installed and replaced again in 1953. The opera seats were removed in 1943, or 1946 depending on the source, to accommodate the wide screens. The wooden rooms that remain offstage today are the smoking rooms that led into the opera boxes. In 1953 the 3-D process and Cinema-Scope enhanced the enjoyment of the moviegoer at the Elks. New projectors and Dolby sound made their debut at the Elks in December 1980. In the 1990s films are shown at the Elks only for special events like Primavera School’s foreign film and dinner fundraiser and the Prescott College Student Union’s film series”.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 2, 2006 at 4:51 am

This is a 5/5/2006 article about the Elks Theater.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 15, 2008 at 9:09 am

This is a postcard view of Gurley Street. The Elks Theater is on the left.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 19, 2008 at 10:16 am

This is a circa 1928 interior view and here is a view of the entrance. Date given for the second photo is 1936.

rsparker on July 17, 2010 at 6:40 am

The 1905 Elks Opera House has just completed a total restoration to its 1915 heritage. The theater has been dark for 13 months. It will open to a Gala Celebration featuring the Phoenix Opera on Saturday, July 24, 2010, next weekend.
The restoration has been accomplished primarily through the generosity of the James Family Trust, Elks Opera House Foundation, City of Prescott and numerous volunteers.
Seating capacity is now at 548 total main floor and balcony.
Bookings for the 2010-2011 season have already begun.
This theater is located ½ block from the downtown Square and can handle live entertainment, theater, movies and lectures as well as being booked for weddings.

DonLewis on September 4, 2010 at 6:43 pm

From the early 1900s a postcard view of the Elks Theatre in Prescott.

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