900 Baseline Road
Boulder, Boulder County, Colorado, 80302
The Chautauqua Auditorium is a wooden building constructed for the first season of the Colorado Chautauqua in 1898, and through the years has been a venue for many lectures, musical performances, and motion pictures both primitive and modern.
On May 12, 1898, construction of the Chautauqua Auditorium commenced; it was completed in time for the opening of the first Texas-Colorado Chautauqua season on July 4, 1898. The wooden building had dirt floors, covered with sawdust, and simple pine benches.
The center section of the dirt and sawdust floor was replaced with a concrete floor in 1918, and at the same time some of the original pine benches were replaced with 586 "opera chairs".
Although the Auditorium was mostly intended for lectures, sermons, dramatic readings, live musical performances, and variety acts similar to vaudeville, it was also a venue for motion pictures right from the beginning. In 1898, the film industry was in its experimental infancy.
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