We’ve talked about the movie projector in Red Cliff and the filming of movies in Glenwood Canyon. How nice to find information about the Eagle Theater.
Lloyd Greve sent his “Recollections of the Eagle Theatre Building” [RAREdr 725.823 G8371] to Mary Ann Wilson in 1981. He immediately mentions the address of the theater as being 241 Broadway. While the original building is no longer in existence [the new Brush Creek Saloon is at that site], we do have a photo of the building as the backdrop to Nicholas Buchholz’ funeral in 1911.
As early as 1933, Lloyd helped his father, theater-owner John Greve, run movies on Tuesday nights. They “were shown upstairs in the dance hall-basketball court and otherwise all-purpose large meeting hall for the town. … Dad ran movies once a week and then would pack the portable equipment and go on to other towns on the Eagle River. Projection equipment was set up in the same little cubicle that Murray Wilson had previously used for silent films.”
In 1938, John Greve bought the building, 48 feet wide and sixty feet deep [from Broadway]. His contractor, Vern Cheney, built an addition on the back, creating an auditorium, two apartments and a medical suite. “The projection booth was built on top of the reinforced concrete vaults which dated back to the building’s having been the Eagle County Courthouse for several years after the county seat was moved from Red Cliff, Colo. The dance hall was refinished upstairs and on the Saturday night before Easter Sunday in 1940, the grand opening was held for the theatre and the dance. Hall.”
The Grand Opening was on March 23. “More than 500 people attended the two shows, and all were enthusiastic over the new show house, acclaiming it one of the best on the Western Slope. … The management of the theater gave a free dance in the theater dance hall annex and the floor was crowded with many merry makers nearly all night.” Eagle Valley Enterprise, March 29, 1940 p.1
“That’s Right, You’re Wrong” starred Kay Kyser and his band, Adolphe Menjou, Lucille Ball, and Edward Everett Horton. The film grossed $219,000.
“During the war, dance bands became very scarce and the dance hall didn’t pay so Dad made three apartments out of the space. Dad ran movies thru the war until I returned from service and leased the Eagle and Minturn Theatres from him.”
In 1972, the buildings were sold to Mingle Corporation.
Over the years, the theater employed many locals including Barbara Pearch who kept books for Koonce Chevrolet and sold show tickets in the evening at the Eagle Theater.