Historic Theater Aims for Warmer Entryway, Enhanced Identity
TELLURIDE – The Sheridan Opera House, “Telluride’s Crown Jewel,” has started construction of a new entryway. The Sheridan Arts Foundation, which owns and operates the historic landmark, has long eyed renovating the entryway to enhance the presence of the theater at its North Oak Street location. The renovation comes as the opera house as it celebrates its 100th birthday this year.
Construction crews broke ground last week on the construction of a new vestibule, which serves two purposes: to improve building efficiency by acting as a barrier between the outdoors and the box office, and to improve the theater’s external identity by matching its rich interior design, according to Steven Palamar, director of finance at the opera house.
“We’re all really proud of this project,” Palamar said. “The entryway will give the theater a new identity on Main Street, because some people still confuse the opera house with the restaurant around the corner.”
At a price tag north of $100,000, Palamar said the entryway will feature beveled glass, gold leaf on black doors and a roof of ceramic tiles, adding, “This might be the most expensive cost per square foot structure in Telluride.” Weather permitting, construction should be complete in late September.
For decades, the Sheridan Opera House has sat on North Oak Street without any recognizable external feature other than the vintage SHOW sign. Protruding from the main entrance of the theater, organizers hope the entryway will draw visitors and locals alike to attend the many events that happen at the opera house each month, including the upcoming Telluride TV Video Awards, and the Telluride Horror Show in October.
The historic building was the first venue in Telluride beautiful enough to host ballroom dances, opera performances and decadent dinners, long before Telluride shifted from a mining-oriented economy to a tourism hotspot and posh getaway. The Sheridan Opera House also played a vital role in the founding of the Telluride Film Festival, serving as the festival’s first -- and still its most iconic -- venue. Almost certainly, the Sheridan Opera House has hosted more national and world film premieres than any theater between New York and Los Angeles.