Elevator soon to be a reality at the Wright

Written by the Wright Opera House on . Posted in Latest News

With nearly 95% of this raise complete and an outstanding $40,000 matching challenge on its plate, the Wright Opera House is making a final push to secure the full $350,000 budgeted to install an elevator, restore the central staircase, make ancillary improvements, and fund operations for a full year. "This has been a tremendous year" said Dee Williams, Chair of the Friends of the Wright Opera house. "We're close to complete funding, within $20,000 of our goal, for the first phase of restoration thanks again to incredible community support."

Purchased in 2011, the Friends have made a first push in 2013 to initiate restoration of the facility, expected to cost $2 million over a 5 - 7 year time frame. The current raise will include installation of an elevator, a much needed feature at the Wright. "Easily, 1 in 5 individuals mention an elevator," says Josh Gowans, Executive Director. "It's not something you think about until you're looking at the flight and half of stairs required to get to the theater... needless to say, the elevator is going to be a great addition to the Wright." Community support for the Wright has been strong since purchase, with the majority of the funding for the current raise coming from locals. "It's just amazing to see the community respond" says Williams. In addition to private donations, the Wright has benefited from grant funding from the Gates Family Foundation and El Pomar Foundation.

Built in 1888 by the Wright brothers, the Wright Opera House quickly became a focal point for culture and entertainment in Ouray, contrasting with the saloons and brothels offered at the time. Housing everything from theater, to movies, to an auto mechanic shop, the Wright evolved over many decades and has served the town in a variety of capacities. Now in its 125 year, the Wright is once again a cultural and entertainment venue, and is undergoing a restoration such that it can support the performing arts for generations to come. "This is a great project with wide appeal" commented Gowans. "Like all arts organizations in Ouray County, the Wright provides a great deal of intangible benefit that is being recognized more and more by foundations and private individuals. In fact, the purchase and restoration of the Wright was initiated as an important part of the Ouray 2020 plan."

"Our goal is to complete the capital raise by December 31st and to be closed for construction from February to May" stated Williams. "We are 95% of the way there and ready to break ground the first of February. We just need a final push to make it happen. All donations during December will be matched, up to $40,000. About half of the match has been met."

The matching challenge is a dollar for dollar match up to $40,000. Proceeds will go specifically toward the restoration of the facility. The current phase of the restoration includes the new box office, installation of an elevator and staircase, and enhancements to the main and theater level lobbies. For more information or to contribute to the Wright, please contact Josh Gowans at 970.325.4399 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tags: Ouray Fundraiser Restoration

Contact The Wright

Interested in hosting an event at The Wright? Need information on tickets for upcoming events? Give us a call or shoot us an email.

The Wright Opera House

472 Main Street
PO Box 17 (mailing)
Ouray, CO 81427

970.325.4399 | phone
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Alpenglow Arts Alliance

Special thanks to Kindred Collective for their sponsorship and design work.

Want to purchase tickets? Email us at: boxoffice@thewrightoperahouse.org

At the Wright Opera House, we're working hard to bring high quality events and live performances to Ouray, Colorado. We're also trying to restore a facility that is over 120 years old. Needless to say, we have our work cut out for us! If you have some praise for what we've done already or some feedback on what we could do better, please contact us via email.

472 Main Street (Mailing address: PO Box 17), Ouray, CO 81427 | 970.325.4399 phone

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