Helping Works

Save the 1912 Old Opera House; own a piece of Idaho history

Your help is needed to save and return the Kooskia Old Opera House, built in 1912, back to a community-owned theater.
Your help is needed to save and return the Kooskia Old Opera House, built in 1912, back to a community-owned theater. Courtesy of the Old Opera House

The Old Opera House in the north-central Idaho town of Kooskia is for sale and in need of your help.

The more than century-old icon once resonated with traditional music and classic period dramas, but has been largely forgotten for nearly two decades, according to a group that hopes to return music and drama to the Old Opera House stage. These theater-arts loving Idahoans have formed a corporation and are working to raise funds to purchase the historic building.

The value of the Old Opera House, historically speaking, is immeasurable. Its stage, for instance, was once graced by jazz great and blues singer-songwriter Lee Morse and is one of Morse’s earliest-known performance venues still in existence. The Old Opera House also fulfills requirements to be placed on the state’s historical registry.

You can help by buying one or more shares to own part of this legacy. The deadline to meet the purchase price goal of $199,000 is Sept. 1 or the building will likely be sold to other buyers who want to convert the building and property for other uses, organizers says.

Shares are $500 each. All funds are held in trust and will be returned if the goal is not met.

For more information, contact Norma Pfaff, treasurer, at (208) 816- 2691 or email kooskiaoperahouse@gmail.com.

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