342 State Street,
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Illustrious Onion Skin Players (Official)
Architects: Frank W. Moore
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Four-Star Theatre
The Illustrious Onion Skin Players say that the Star Theater was built around 1917 by A.C. Gordon as the Wheaton Theatre, a vaudevillian house that later added silent movies. In 1939, Bruce Gordon gave it a $40,000 an Art Deco style remodeling, which still can be seen today on its recently repainted exterior and marquee.
Since 1997 it has been home to the Illustrious Onion Skin Players, formed in 1985, who have returned it to its roots. The Players purchased the 600-seat Star Theater in 2001 and have been kept busy restoring the building. The 400 downstairs vintage seats are being reupholstered and patrons are invited to become a chair holder with their name on a plaque. The balcony, which used to seat about 200, is used now for lighting equipment and there are many other structural changes that have been helped by donations from the community. The Weiser Signal American says that as their budget allows the players plan on other modern amenities such as handicapped accessible restrooms and they may be open to the use of the Star for films and other performing groups.
During the first three full weekends in March the Players put on a 1890’s style melodrama that draws its actors from the open auditions held in December. These musical melodramas portray the history and individuals of Weiser and the Treasure Valley. Each ticket holder is promised “A humorous, fast-paced evening of a melodrama, sing-a-longs and songs from the late 1800’s through the 1940’s”.
The Star Theater was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.
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