For Your Amusement

When Elitch Gardens packed up and left Denver’s north side in favor of the Central Platte Valley in 1994, not every structure within the world-famous gates could make the move. Tonight, the Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre Holiday Benefit looks to celebrate and bring new life to one of these abandoned landmarks: the playhouse, which was built in 1891. The victim of disrepair since its closing in 1991, the Elitch Gardens Theatre was the first of its kind to be owned by a woman — Mary Elitch — and once played host to such stars as Grace Kelly and Douglas Fairbanks.

“I grew up at Elitch’s and heard the stories of the performers who came through the theater from my dad, who was an usher there in the ’50s,” says Kirk Scheitler, board president of the Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre nonprofit.

Tonight’s event, which features wine, snacks and live music set inside the beautiful Highland’s Garden Cafe, 3927 West 32nd Avenue, seeks to raise money to bring the grandeur back to the hundred-year-old stage. It will also serve as a donation collection for Colorado Gives Day, which supports like-minded nonprofits across the state.

Tickets for the benefit are $35 and must be purchased in advance at www.historicelitchtheatre.org. All proceeds will go to the restoration and preservation of the Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre.
Tue., Dec. 4, 6 p.m., 2012

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