The famous Lincoln Theater located in downtown Cheyenne closed its doors in May. With a new owner buying the venue, the theater will soon be up and running, but movies won’t be on the marquee.
Originally a live performance venue, the theater opened its doors in 1929 with help from financier Francis E. Warren. Its art deco style architecture has made for an iconic landmark in downtown Cheyenne. The Lincoln was then a focal point for nightlife, hosting more than 2 million people, plus an array of movie premieres, up until its final showing as “The Lincoln $ Saver Theater,” on May 10.
“Who wants a music venue?” reads the marquee of the Lincoln Theater.
Though closed for now, the theater will soon open its doors once again, this time directed toward live music.
The Lincoln was acquired by Jon and Renee Jelinek, co-founders of The Alternative Arts Project, a non-profit organization with a mission to provide resources for young, aspiring artist. According to the Jelineks, they plan to utilize the theater to attract national touring acts to the area as a means to expand The Alternative Arts Project, providing funds for non-traditional programs such as music lessons and rehearsal space.
“It’s a venue that is missing in Wyoming,” Jon Jelinek said.
While browsing an online realty website for space to relocate another business of the Jelineks, they came across The Lincoln’s listing on the last page. The listing included a buyer agreement, prohibiting the showing of movies for the next 25 years. The seller’s willingness to donate a large portion of the theater to a non-profit organization aided the Jelineks’ decision to move forward with the venue, re-igniting The Alternative Arts Project.
The medium-sized venue will boast a state-of-the-art sound system provided by Brown Note Productions, the same company that produces audio for the esteemed Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado. Removal of the movie theater seats and firewalls will give the room an open floor capacity of approximately 1,100 attendees, pending a fire department inspection. In a space already built for sound, the renovations seek to make The Lincoln the best venue in the region, in turn bringing popular acts to its stage.
“How cool would it be to have a couple thousand people downtown every week?” Jelinek added.
Though there is no date yet set for its grand opening, the Jelineks said they plan to have the venue up and running by this spring.