by Angler Guide
A little history about the
Built in 1919, the Colonial Theater opened as a vaudeville theater
and had one of the largest stages in the intermountain west at
that time. Acoustics are still superb. Because it was designed
before modern sound systems were invented, a whisper on the stage
can be heard at the top of the balcony. Traveling vaudeville acts
and minstrels entertained and actors, musicians and dancers
performed on the hardwood stage.
In 1929 it was renamed the
Paramount Theater and began showing movies. Although a number of
live acts performed on its stage up through WWII, it operated
primarily as a movie house until the late 1980's when it closed.
The Arts Council successfully
completed a $4.2 million capital campaign to renovate the buildings
into a magnificent visual and performing arts center for the region.
Colonial Theatre Ground Level.
The three building facility was renamed for Miles and Virginia
Willard who chaired the campaign and donated $1.2 million to the
renovation. In December 1997, the visual arts building opened
comprised of the 2000 square foot Taylor and Betty Carr Gallery, the
Blake and Laurel Hall Gallery for Young Artists, a conference room
with a beautifully restored stained glass window, three classrooms,
reception area and theater lobby.
Carr Gallery in the Willard Arts Center.
In March 1999, the 970 seat
Colonial Theater re-opened with Ray Charles performing. Today, it is
one of only three large theaters of historical significance which
still remain in Idaho.
Falls Arts Council
498 A Street
Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402 USA