Enriching the community for more than 100 years
by Trevor Odom, Assistant Marketing and Program Manager
The Elks Theatre building in Prescott, Arizona has been a lot of things to a lot of people. In the 112 years since the building was built, it has been a staple of the community, serving at various times as a theatre, lawyers’ offices, federal courthouse and retail storefronts among many other things. For the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks in 1905, it was the only lodge in all of the Arizona Territory.
Over the years, time got ahold of the building. The Elks’ organization moved to Prescott Valley in the ‘70s, and the building changed owners many times over the next few decades. The building, which had fallen into decay over the years, went through many renovations which sought to modernize both the interior and exterior. These renovations fell short of the splendor once assigned to the building in times gone by.
In 2012, the Elks Theatre and Performing Arts Foundation was formed in order to protect and renovate the building as well as make it accessible to the community. A multimillion dollar renovation was conducted and spearheaded by architect Frank DeGrazia. This time, instead of attempting to modernize the building, the focus was to bring the building back to its roots. It’s original tin stamp barrel ceilings were beautifully restored. Walls were torn down in favor of a classic open design. The grand ballroom was restored, complete with a crystal chandelier. In the Theatre, the original opera boxes and lobby were reconstructed and the color scheme went back to original. Finally, in December 2016, the Elks building had been restored to its original grandeur.
Today the building is open for public use year-round for a variety of functions. Live shows are performed weekly in the Theatre, ranging from local favorites to professional bands. The Theatre is also a place where many charitable events take place such as the Boys & Girls Club “Dancing for the Stars,” or the Coalition for Compassion and Justice charity luncheon.
In the Performing Arts Center, you will find a variety of classes, seminars, and events going on. From weddings happening in the magnificent restored upper ballroom to ballet classes occurring in our Sprung Marley floored dance studio, one of the only such studios in Yavapai County.
The Elks Theatre and Performing Arts Center is a community space accessible to the public of Yavapai County and the surrounding area. Tours of the Theatre are given by docents dressed in early 20th century attire from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Performances occur most Friday and Saturday nights, and tickets can be purchased online or at the box office before the show. The Performing Arts Center is open during regular business hours Monday through Friday and can host private events 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is the mission of the organization and the staff that each and every member of the community benefits from the presence of the Theatre and Performing Arts Center.