With the founding of the Orpheum, Historic Wilson, and Historic Colonial Theater, Idaho performing arts flourished in the 1920s. These magnificent cultural fixtures still stand today, providing audiences with festivals, classic film showings, plays, and so much more. Here are the 10 best historic theaters in the state!
The Orpheum Theatre in Twin Falls, Idaho, is “the magic valley’s premier entertainment venue” with a wide variety of events, including film festivals, musicals, stand-up comedy, plays, and classic film showings. Established originally in 1921, the theatre was purchased and renovated in 2014. Today, it continues restoration and the tradition of celebrating the arts that made it a success in the first place.
The Historic Wilson Theatre continues to offer grand excitement to the fine folks of Rupert, Idaho. With a new renovation and events including plays, concerts, conventions, art exhibits, and more, this is a must-visit.
The Colonial Theater opened in 1919 and “boasted one of the largest stages in the Intermountain West, a modern ramp (in lieu of stairs) to the balcony, a ventilation system,” and more. The Colonial Theater is now part of the larger Idaho Fall Arts Council’s Willard Arts Center and is one of the largest historic theatre in Idaho.
The Egyptian Theatre opened in 1927, undergoing many renovations and name changes since then. The venue itself pays homage to the place where it gets its name, with Egyptian architecture and colors throughout, including “ a large winged scarab, detailed in the drawings, holds a sun disk with ureaus.” The theatre hosts national acts including “Welcome to Night Vale” and classic films.
The Panida Theater in Sandpoint is the go-to spot in the area for avant garde films, opera performances, and community events. Originally a vaudeville and movie house opened in 1927, the theatre aims to “showcase great performances for audiences in the panhandle of Idaho,” from which it derives its name. Check the website for rental information.
Glenn’s Ferry’s Historic Opera House began in 1914 as the Gorby Opera House. It welcomed vaudevillian acts of all kinds before moving on to silent movies with live music. Original flooring, banisters, seats, and more are still intact. They have several dinner shows regularly.
Built in the early 1900s, the Liberty Theatre continues to deliver exciting entertainment to the Sun Valley. The theatre has 240-seats, including loveseats on the balcony. It is available to rent for your next event.
The Parma Motor Vu has provided Parma, Idaho, with a great drive-through movie experience since 1944. They show new movies, sports and more. Dogs are welcome. They serve snacks, candy, hot chocolate, and more.
A Nationally Register Historic Place, the Blue Fox Theatre in Grangeville, Idaho, was built in 1929 and opened in 1930. They showed movies and live productions. Regular movies and events keeps this play kicking well into the 21st century.
The Nuart Theater continues to serve as an arthouse movie theater for the Moscow, Idaho area. In addition to regular events, the theater offers office and gallery space. The Nuart Theater is available to the public to rent—just check their website and fill out a short form for more information.