Theatre News

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Cold Hard Cash

September 2015

The Rupert High School Class of 1955 is coming together for their annual reunion at the Historic Wilson Theatre this year, and they are bringing a Johnny Cash tribute band called The Cold Hard Cash Show to celebrate. General admission tickets are available to the community, who are encouraged to attend and help celebrate the restoration of this local Idaho historic building.

The show is scheduled for 8 p.m. Sept. 11. Tickets are available for presale at $20 each or $25 at the door.

The Cold Hard Cash Show is an original and innovative tribute to the music of Johnny Cash and The Tennessee Three. Say what you will about Tribute Bands, The Cold Hard Cash Show is an excellent band, excellent show, excellent experience and hands down the BEST Johnny Cash Tribute around.

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Rupert's Visionary, Earl Coreless, Dies at 82

August 2015

He was there from the beginning of renovations at the Wilson Theatre holding firm to his belief that the deteriorating theater should be restored to the splendor he recalled as a youth.

“Earl Corless had a vision and he had what it took to turn it into reality,” said Chris Jackson, former executive director of the Wilson Theatre. “He wanted it so badly for the community. Rupert has really lost a visionary.”

Corless, 82, died Aug. 14.

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Wilson Jr. Musical Theatre performs 'Legally Blonde the Musical'

July 2015

The production “Legally Blonde the Musical” has been a favorite of Kelli McBride’s since it was released in 2007.

“First of all, it’s so fun and upbeat,” said the director of the Wilson Jr. Musical Theater group. And secondly, the theater group is chock full of girl cast members, which suits the script.

The play, based on the 2001 movie starring Reese Witherspoon, will be performed at 7 p.m. July 29-31, and Aug. 1 and 3 at the historic Wilson Theater in Rupert.

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The Wilson Theater Comes of Age

July 2015

For many, the words, “Wilson Theater” mean an old church, an old run down discount theater, or more recently, a live theater where you have to bring your own chair and sit on a slanted floor, where wires and collapsing ceilings might scare the patron. A few might say, “Hey that’s the old building they’re trying to restore.”

Those perspectives are from someone who has not seen the miraculous transformation that has come almost to completion.

Though currently filled with almost four hundred soft and comfortable red theater seats, these are soon to be replaced by a specially designed seating package, fit just for the theater, new, comfortable and elegant, like the rest of this incredible theater.

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'Forever Plaid' to showcase Wilson Theater restoration

July 2015

Have you been looking for an exciting, high quality show, where you can take your family and feel good about what you’ve seen? I think we’ve found just your ticket.

The Wilson Theater is proud to present an old Broadway classic, “Forever Plaid.” Nearing completion of its magnificent restoration, visiting the theater is a whole new experience for those who might have visited before. The quality and beauty of the theater will astound its patrons, having transformed into one of the premier theaters in Idaho.

Theater goers will be just as pleased with its latest production, “Forever Plaid, as they will be with the theater’s transformation. This wonderful Broadway musical tells the story of a four man harmony group who was killed in 1964, on their way to their first concert. Fifty years later they are allowed to come back to Earth, to do the show they had never done in life. It is witty, funny, and full of fabulous music. Take a walk through the 50s as these crooners weave the past and present together in this splendid, comical play.

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Idaho Gives - Renaissance Arts Center Inc DBA Historic Wilson Theater

May 2013

The restoration and renovation of the Historic Wilson Theatre is beginning its 13th year and we are in the final phase - the theatre auditorium. We might, note most of us that started in Jan. 2000 to restore this beautiful facility are getting pretty old and would love to have this completed and get to see it use as a cultural art center and also a community center, as it was once used.

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Cinema Treasures - Wilson Theatre

December 2007

The Rupert City Council approved the purchase of the 1920-built Wilson, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, in December of 1999.



Back to the Past - Wilson Theatre

April 2006

The citizens of Rupert, Idaho, are betting their town's future on an old building.

When it was completed in 1920, the Wilson Theatre was a big hit. Silent movies, and later, talkies, made the theatre the center of activity. But then came television, and by the end of the 20th century, this triangle-shaped building had fallen into disrepair.

In 1998 the citizens of Rupert listed as their top priority the restoring of the Wilson building. "We have set a tentative date of April 2006, which is the Centennial of the founding of the city of Rupert," says Earl Corless, a member of the board of directors overseeing construction. "We would love to have it finished and opened by then."

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Idaho Heritage - Wilson Theater (Renaissance Arts Center)


January 2009

Daniel Ward Wilson built the Wilson Building and Theatre in 1919-20 for $75,000. The doors to the building opened in August of 1920.  The theater was equipped with a new gold screen that could be used with the latest projectors, although the building was originally designed for vaudeville, silent movies, high school graduations, dance recitals, church events, and public meetings.  The City of Rupert purchased the building in 1999, and the Renaissance Arts Center group began the restoration of the theater to its 1920s glory.  It is in the National Register of Historic Places.