The Butte Theater in Cripple Creek has lived many lives over more than a century: skating rink, dance academy, auto garage and even home base to the Cripple Creek Fire Department.
In 1999, the City of Cripple Creek decided to renovate the grand old building to its full Victorian splendor, and what emerged was a 1,350-square-foot stage and seating for 184 guests.
In 2000, the Cripple Creek Melodrama moved into the Butte, and the traditional villains and heroes of the quirky genre were brought back to life. Classic Victorian melodrama had occupied a stronghold in Cripple Creek dating to the late 1940s, when the Imperial Hotel produced original shows in its basement.
Thin Air Theatre Company took over as the resident professional company in 2007 and carried on the melodrama tradition, as well as bringing in additional shows. It left the Butte last year, and Mountain Repertory Theatre has taken over as the resident professional theater company, offering seven shows, including melodramas.
In addition to the company’s offerings, the Butte Theater endeavors to offer a full year of shows, with a community season running from January through May featuring free movies, professional touring acts and a community theater production for local actors. Upcoming 2018 shows include “Always... Patsy Cline,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “A Mountain Holiday.”