Wright Opera House

The Wright Opera House in Ouray
Picture by John Michael Patterson

The Wright Opera house of Ouray is important to Ouray history. The beautiful building we know as the Wright Opera House was built by Ed Wright, who struck it rich with the Wheel of Fortune mine. It was built for good Christian entertainment for their daughter and the community. The school children used it for basketball games and graduation before they had a space of their own. There were plays held often. Actors signed the walls back stage, which you can still see today. Boxing matches were held here too. There was seating for 500 people. The Wright Opera House is a beautiful large building with a Meskar Brothers pressed metal front that may be the only one of its kind in Colorado. It has four large arched windows on the second floor with one square one in the middle. A metal balcony lies under the windows. In the center there is a small decorative tower with the Wright name under it. In 1889, Ed Wright’s daughter Irene celebrated her 10th birthday at the Wright Opera House. Floods damaged the Wright Opera House in 1909 and in 1982. In 1977, the San Juan Odyssey slide show delighted tourists each summer for many years. In 1998 the building was remodeled and had a movie theater put in. In 2006 the movie theater closed. The Wright Opera house is a beautiful building.

by John Michael Patterson

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