Elks Building and Theater
|Address||117 E. Gurley St.|
|Type||Theater and Performing Arts Center|
Elks Building and Theater
|Area||0 acres (0 ha)|
|Architectural style||Early Commercial|
|MPS||Prescott Territorial Buildings MRA|
|NRHP Reference #||78003226|
|Added to NRHP||December 14, 1978|
The Prescott Elks Theater and Performing Arts Center is a classically designed turn of the 20th century opera house seating over 500. Completed in 1905 and listed on the National Register of Historical Places as Elks Building and Theater, it was one of many "Elks' Opera Houses" across the country. Now over a hundred years later only one still exists.
The theater in the beginning was the host to minstrel shows, balls, plays and theater performances. Movies arrived with the silent era about 1915. In 1929 sound was added and the "talkies" had arrived. Movies continued to be shown till the 1980s. After many changes of private ownerships the opera house was turned over to Arizona Community Foundation in the early 1980s. Then began the effort to return the opera house to its original glory. The opera house was purchased by the City of Prescott in 2001. The Foundation in partnership with the City began the restoration with the lobby, green room, dressing rooms and other parts of the building. Restoration was finally completed by the Foundation and the City in 2010.
A $1.75 million renovation of the theatre in the building was completed in 2010.
In 2012 the City sold the buildings to a non profit, The Elks Theater and Performing Arts Center (ETPAC). The theater restoration completed, the ETPAC then began plans to renovate and restore the three-story Elks Lodge #330.
The new restoration project continued through 2016 when in December all construction was completed. Added to the lodge were two state of the art professional dance studios; one with a floating Hickory dance floor and the other with a "sprung Marley" surface. Each studio is self-contained with its own adjustable lighting, heat and air conditioning and state of the art sound systems. Also found on the second floor are five Wenger music and voice isolation practice booths. Plans are in the works to include a digital recording board.
The third floor of the ETPAC sports two separate banquet halls with a total floor capacity of 200 people and a whole floor sound system. A brand new chef's kitchen was also installed on the third floor, with warming ovens, grills, griddles and more.
During the remodel every effort was made to save and restore the original construction where possible. That is why you will find the original barrel ceilings with tin stamp found in other parts of the building still in place. The renovation also uncovered a hidden staircase that was saved along with the original stain glass "clock" that was placed in the building by the Brotherhood of Elks. It points to 11 o'clock when in Elks' traditional a toast is made to absent members."Bill" the original locally sourced copper Elk still lives on the roof of the performing arts center.
The ETPAC is a 501c3 charitable organization. As part of the purchase agreement an endowment was set up for the perpetual operation and maintenance of the theater and performing arts center.
The mission of the ETPAC is to enhance the community of Prescott by providing space for practice, rehearsal and training of the performing arts.
The Elks Theater and Performing Arts Center on East Gurley Street in Prescott, Arizona is a three-story Early Commercial style building built in c.1905. It is approximately 95 feet (29 m) wide and 125 feet (38 m) deep. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
- National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- Cindy Barks (January 8, 2015). "Uncovering history: Next phase of Elks Theater restoration focuses on interior". The Daily Courier (Arizona). Retrieved February 13, 2017.
- "Arizona State Historic Property Inventory: Elks Building and Theater" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved December 8, 2016. with photo
- Cindy Barks (November 29, 2016). "Prescott Elks restoration COMPLETE; renovation wraps up". The Daily Courier (Arizona).
- Cindy Barks (November 29, 2016). "Dec. 9 open house will offer glimpse of renovated Elks Performing Arts Center". The Daily Courier (Arizona).
- Parker Anderson and Jack Wilson (May 3, 2010). "Early History of the Prescott Arizona Elks Opera House". Prescott Tourism.
- Parker Anderson and Jack Wilson (July 6, 2010). "Prescott Arizona Elks Opera House – Resurrection and preservation 2000-2008". Prescott Tourism.
- Parker Anderson and Jack Wilson (July 19, 2010). "Prescott Arizona Elks Opera House – Restoration par excellence 2009-2010". Prescott Tourism.
- Parker Anderson and Jack Wilson (July 19, 2010). "Prescott Arizona Elks Opera House – The Future". Prescott Tourism.
- The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks History of the Elks Opera House Theatre AZ North District 0460 www.elks.org/lodges
- Prescott Courier Sept 15 2015