Idaho Falls

Idaho Falls Visitors Guide 2010

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ACTOR’S REPERTORY THEATRE 257 W. Broadway | 208-522-8450 IDAHO FALLS PUBLIC LIBRARY 457 Broadway | 208-612-8334 HOURS: Mon. through Thurs. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. IDAHO FALLS SYMPHONY 450 A Street | 208-529-1080 OFFICE HOURS: Mon. through Fri., 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. MUSEUM OF IDAHO 200 North Eastern Ave. | 208-522-1400 HOURS: Mon. through Sat., 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sun., 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. WILLOWTREE GALLERY 210 Cliff Street | 208-524-4464 Willowtree Gallery features a wide variety of original art and sculptures by local and regional artists, a large selection of limited edition prints, posters, and unique books and gifts. Custom framing is available. PHOTO cOuRTESY OF THE IDAHO FALLS ARTS cOuNcIL ACTS THROUGH THE AGES IDAHO FALLS CELEBRATES 90 YEARS OF THE COLONIAL THEATER Even before I.F. was I.F., our little nook of the Mountain West was a crossroads of commerce and culture. Imagine the budding city we know today as a small grid of rutted wagon tracks and a scattering of makeshift buildings. Not exactly a stage set for the arts, perhaps, yet even in its infancy, the 19th Century hamlet of Eagle Rock served as a stopping point for traveling Shakespeare troupes and medicine shows as they trekked in from Salt Lake City and north into Montana. It was only a matter of time before local artisans, promoters and investors realized the obvi- ous—this little town could support a theater. In fact, for a time it ended up supporting several. The first of them was the Scenic in 1908, followed by the Star and Dime theaters the following year. Movie prices ranged from five to 10 cents a head. That might actually be a little steep by early 20th Century standards, but demand continued to grow. In 1913 the Rex and American theatres opened, and as the Roaring Twenties wound down, construc- tion finished on the Broadway Theater, which later became the Fox and reopened in 1934 as the Rio. Clearest and dearest in the cultural history of Idaho Falls, however, is none other GALLERY FINDER COMMERCIAL ART GALLERIES & STUDIOS Carr Gallery, 450 A Street Eagle Rock Art Guild, 287 Cliff Street Elegance in Art, 385 W. Broadway Willowtree Gallery, 210 Cliff Street than the Colonial Theater, located downtown near the corner of A Street and Capi- tal. Developed and financed by a local banker (C.A. Spath), a doctor (C.M. Cline) and a contractor (S.K. Mittry), the 1919 project was an architectural wonder of steel, concrete and brick. With its eye-popping, ivory-toned terra cotta façade, the building was billed as the finest theater in the entire state. The original 1,400-oc- cupancy property featured 800 luxury seats on the main floor, plus box seats and loggias. The specialty seating is gone now, but the house still packs in an audience of just under a thousand. The theater’s revival in the late 1990s helped jumpstart a cultural revolution that is still going strong—right in the heart of the city. “We’ve become a cultural anchor of downtown,” says Carrie Getty of the Idaho Falls Arts Council. “Look at what’s happened in these past 10 years. The Willard Arts Center came up, the Museum of Idaho, the Art Museum, the ARTI dinner theater…. We’ve realized that we really have a strong cultural district here. We just needed to tell people about it—that Idaho Falls is really an arts-and-culture center for the region. So we got a group of people together, got some money from the National Endowment for the Arts, the state Commerce Department, the tourism division, and we basically got money to put out a brochure, put up billboards and banners. The rest is history.” VISITIDAHOFALLS.COM 9

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