Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Polzin, Donald E., 1930-||Welsh, Wil

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Speech


Theater--Colorado--Cripple Creek


This study deals with the history of the legitimate theatrical activities in Cripple Creek, Colorado, from January 1, 1897, to July 19, 1907. Its purpose is to illuminate the history of the legitimate theatre as opposed to the cabaret theatre or variety theatre. The primary sources for this study are newspapers, magazines, and documents which were written during this period of Cripple Creek history. Other primary sources are letters, personal papers, and interviews obtained from residents and visitors of Cripple Creek. A third valuable source of information is the archeological evidence found in the remains of the various theatres. Much information is found in special collections at the Colorado State Historical Society, and in the Denver Public library's Western History collection. This paper follows a chronological study of the happenings in the legitimate theatre in the city of Cripple Creek, Colorado, for the designated time period. It begins with the rebuilding of the city and its theatre after the disastrous fires of April, 1896, and is terminated with the burning of the only legitimate theatre in operation, in July, 1907. This study includes a history of the various managements of the legitimate theatres in Cripple Creek, and gives an accurate description of the physical plants, and the changes made in them during the time period concerned. It discusses the highly critical attitudes of the audiences that frequented these theatres, and the effects which the Theatrical Syndicate and the 1903-04 strike of the Western Federation of Miners had on theatres. This study discusses the commercial profit to be derived, in a gold mining boom town, from a building, operated for profit, and devoted exclusively to theatrical activities.


Includes bibliographical references.


ix, 156 pages




Northern Illinois University

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