To aid in the restoration of the theatre and to highlight it's historical significance as one of the nation's most iconic theatres, while providing affordable family-friendly cultural programming and events that honor the legacy of Mary Elitch.
While the theatre has been around for almost 130 years the actually foundation was not formed until 2002. It's sole purpose is to restore and preserve it as a national landmark. There have been many civic and historically minded individuals who have keep the foundation going throughout the years. They volunteered time, donated money and worked hard along side the volunteer board to get the theatre to it's finally restoration stage. Without these supporters none of this would be coming to fruition today.
Here is a list of highlights since 2002 to showcase how far we have come:
2006 - Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre Foundation received $5 million in federal, state, city, grants and private donations. Work began on saving and restoring the historic exterior. A concrete foundation was poured under the exterior walls. The roof, gable, main entrance/lobby, and exterior walls were replaced and painted.
2010 - Alumnus Cloris Leachman returns to Denver to help raise funds for the theatre.
2010 - North High School alumni perform Zoot Suit Riots
2014 & 2015 - Doors Open Denver selects the theatre as a site. Musicians and Shakespearean performers were the first acts on stage in the 22 years since the building closed.
2014 - Partial interior restoration was completed that allowed a partial occupancy license and got the theatre up to code.
2015/2016 - New Works presented on stage with alumnus Christina Crawford
2016 - 125th Celebration with declarations from Mayor Hancock and Governor Hickenlooper making it the summer of Historic Elitch Theatre. Governor Hickenlooper joined in the festivities and the Hazel Miller Band performed.
2017 - attendance records broken with sold out summer film series. Children's Day revived with a children's film festival, Elitch Academy, ETFest that included art show, free children's activities and concert in the theatre featuring FACE, Hazel Miller Band and Chris Daniels and the Kings. Largest event in the history of the foundation ended the season with close to 1,000 attendees for Dav Pilkey Captain Underpants book signing and presentation. Grant awarded in the amount of 200,000 for the fly roof repair. SCFD approved for funding for the first time. Record Colorado Gives donations.
2018 - Warner Brothers and Scholastic grants the foundation to be the only venue worthy of hosting the 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter for the state of Colorado.
2020 - Funding for the finally phase of restoration granted with 2.2 million dollars. Work to be completed in the fall with a full occupancy license.
"Elitch Theatre is the cradle of American theatre", Cecile B. DeMille
"As one of Colorado's most iconic theatre, I declare the summer of 2016 as the summer of Historic Elitch Theatre." - Governor John Hickenlooper