Since the town’s early days as a small mining camp, theater has always been a part of the rich heritage of Cripple Creek. Theaters and opera houses have come and gone over the years, but one historical venue that began in the heyday of the gold rush still features exciting and original live entertainment to this day: the Butte Theater. The "Butte Concert and Beer Hall" premiered in 1896, when proprietors Halbekann & Hertz featured nightly entertainment, including a Ladies' Vienna Orchestra. Cripple Creek’s opera house went on to have many lives over its 100+ year history – it was a skating rink, a dance academy, and an auto garage, to name a few. It even housed the Cripple Creek Fire Department!
In 1999, the City of Cripple Creek decided to refurbish this Cripple Creek theater house and began an extensive restoration project, including fresh paint, Victorian-era wallpaper, and period chandeliers. A 1,350-square-foot stage now spans the main room, with seating for 174 guests. The sound booth is equipped with state-of-the-art movie projectors and sound equipment. Finally, a snack bar, roomy dressing rooms and tastefully decorated lavatories complete the historic Butte Theater atmosphere. Today, the beautifully restored Butte Theater delights guests from around the world with professional productions, including plays, musicals and comedies. Since 2000, the Butte has been home to the renewed tradition of classic Cripple Creek melodrama, a fun-filled family outing with professional actors, stunning hand-painted sets and period costumes. Audiences can boo at villains and cheer for heroes in this traditional form of melodrama, just as Cripple Creek theater audiences have since the 1940s.
No matter what time of the year you’re visiting, there’s sure to be something going on at the Butte Theater. Check our Season Schedule for times and dates of shows being performed during your visit!