Wheeler Opera House

Learn more about the theater's history as told through the photos in the bar lobby.

Wheeler Opera House

Aspen, Colorado 81611, United States

Created By: Wheeler Opera House

Tour Information

Each photograph is highlighted as a Point of Interest.

Click on a point of interest to read the text accompanying each photo. Photos and Text courtesy of the Aspen Historical Society.

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What You'll See on the Tour

Ladies of Aspen in Entertainment

circa 1902 A turn-of-the-century chorus line for the Elk's Minstrel Show at the Wheeler Opera House circa 1902.  Fourth from the right is Mary Ella Stallard. Note the trap in the floor of the stage. That device was lost when the stage bur... Read more
Elementary School Production of "The Fairy Queen"

1903 Aspen Elementary School (1st-4th grades) performing the play “The Fairy Queen” on the Wheeler Opera House stage in 1903.
A "Home Talent Show"

1904 Photograph of the cast of characters of a "Home Talent Show" in the Wheeler Opera House.  The woman in the center of the back row, with the dark dress, is identified as Pauline Hardy Ashbaugh. Circa 1900.
The Masque & Music Club Winterskol Snow Show

1951 A large group of people on stage at the Wheeler Opera House for the Meet Arizona production presented by the Aspen Masque & Music Club in December of 1950.  The woman with the baton is the director, Kathryn Hessler (Allen?- newspa... Read more
Burl Ives Entertains

1949 Paula Mechau, Carl Jonas, Herbert Bayer and Dorik Mechau. Household chairs served for seating and the stage, still awaiting repair from the 1912 fire, forced the performer into his audience. 
Winterskol Amateur Night

1953 Fred Iselin, Master of Ceremonies seems to have heard a sour note from the unidentified Cowgirl Singers. Equally unimpressed in the background are Roy Vroom, Thelma Sabbatini, and Jim Rouse.
Untitled, set from "I've Had It"

early 1950s I’ve Had it played at the Wheeler Opera House April 1952 (world premier)- Written by Luke Short (Fred Glidden), Music by Joe Marsala, Directed by Frank Meyers

April 1952 Fred Glidden’s and Joe Marsala’s original Aspen Musical I’VE HAD IT. These rehearsal photos reveal a large cast of Aspen residents working on writer, Luke Short’s (Glidden) libretto and jazz star, Marsala’s, paean to ea... Read more
Dean and Marsala apply make-up for "I'VE HAD IT"

early 1950s The plot revolved around the conflict between “townies” working at the Hotel Jerome and the summer visitors, the music students. Lou Dean and Adele Marsala apply make-up in the old dressing cubicle under the stage. Photo by ... Read more
Winterskol Talent Night,

January, mid 1950s An uncomfortable Dan Dailey attempts to keep up with hoofers, Dick Murphy and Steve Knowlton. It’s interesting that what was once known as “amateur night” has now become “talent night”.
Winterskol Amateur Night

January, 1954 Lana Turner clowns with Master of Ceremonies, Fred Iselin. Sally Baker Williams, Bunny and Jim Roushe, Dick Murphy, and Dean Billings are in the background

1965 Karly Roosevelt and Robin Molney  ponder a pause.  

1965 Phil Clark as “Daddy” is besieged by “Mother”, “Grandma,” and “The Social Worker.”
The Wheeler Diamond Jubille: High Cockalorum

1964 Kelly Nicholson, Art Jarboe, Sally Dale, Ross Griffin, Carol Anderson, Carol Ann Jacobson pass an evening incarcerated in the Meanly, Kansas train depot.
The Wheeler Diamond Jubilee: High Cockalorum

1964 The cast awaits the arrival of a “real” train onstage. 
Aspen Community Theater: A Chorus Line

1985 Zack (Jere Michael) leads the Chorus.
Aspen Community Theater: Hello Dolly!

1986 Dolly Levi (Nancy Mills) and the Company in their Sunday clothes. 
from "Destiny and the Wheeler"

1989 The Rainbow Theater & Aspen Public School's original musical starring the Fourth Grade. The musical encompassed everything from the construction of the Opera House to today’s [1989's] development crunch. A lively (and youthful) ... Read more


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