‘Save the Opera House’ effort runs out of time

The Kooskia Old Opera House on Main Street.

Photo by Laurie Chapman


The Kooskia Old Opera House on Main Street.

— As only half the money needed to purchase The Kooskia Old Opera House was raised, the building will now go to another buyer.

The deadline for the Save the Old Opera House committee was Sept. 1, and $199,000 was raised by this date.

The century-old Kooskia opera house had been for sale for a number of years. In March, Gloria Taylor initiated an effort to acquire the old opera house as a “community owned” venue to keep arts alive and build community spirit from the valley to the prairie. She paid earnest money and had a buy-sell agreement with the owners while an attempt was made to raise money. The buy-sell agreement originally ended June 1; however, owners Mike and Marcia Graves extended it to Sept 1. The primary effort to raise money was through the sale of shares of stock.

“With the help of Freedom Northwest Credit Union, we really stepped up the advertising on local radio and newspapers throughout Idaho. Fliers, letters, posters, news articles, and parade floats were used to make everyone aware,” stated Taylor. “Alumni, family, friends, past Opera House attendees and performers that we could locate were contacted. Businesses in Kooskia, Kamiah and Grangeville as well as individuals that we understood might be supportive of the arts were contacted. We initiated raffles and other fund-raisers.”

Shareholder refund checks have already been mailed and those who recorded their names and addresses with their donations have also been mailed checks.

“There is a handful of people who contributed small amounts of money that did not fill out a form for us to return their money” stated Taylor. “That money will be used to offset mailing and shutdown costs.”

“We wish to extend a heartfelt thank you to all who cheered us on and could see the vision,” Taylor added.

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