About Us

Laying practically abandoned for the last three decades, the Old Rose Theater has flown under the radar for many of the younger generations that have grown up in Colfax. It has almost become an urban legend at this point, much like St. Ignatius Hospital was until 2015. The town’s historic second story has been left vacant and unused for too long, and our goal is to start changing this.

The Old Rose Theater is the first of what will hopefully be many projects to restore, preserve, and reopen Colfax’s historic second story to the public.

We chose the Old Rose Theater as our first project because we feel it has tons of potential to not only encourage tourism to the town, but it would drive endless possibilities for community-focused entertainment. You can get a look at just some of the endless possibilities within our Community Benefits section.

This project will also give us the backing that we need to further the next set of projects that we have in the pipeline to reinvigorate the historic downtown Colfax.

Community Benefits

Currently Colfax has little in the way of intown entertainment. Something, that if restored to the community, will not only attract tourism to the small town, but will all residents to have a local way to see a film, a local play, or a band. These forms of entertainment can only be found locally a few times a year: in early winter Colfax High School puts on its annual musical, The CHS band or choir programs have concerts 2 to 3 times an academic year, and if you want to see a movie in the theaters, you have to travel to Pullman.

We plan to reconstruct a multipurpose theater, having a primary stage that will allow for performances of plays and musicals, as well as be a venue for local or regional bands or choirs to perform. This stage will also have a retractable movie projection screen, so when there aren’t shows using the stage, the theater is still open to the public for movie screenings.
This multipurpose theater will allow for the creation of recreational groups and clubs that aren’t present within Colfax’s community and will allow those who do participate in these activities the ability to stay within the town to do so.

There is already a plan to bring together a community Jazz Big Band and a Civic Theater Program within the community and this project will be giving them a home to rehearse and perform for their audience.

These are just some of the ideas that we have for this space and there are endless possibilities that could be implemented if the community desired them.

Our Projected Timeline

March 2024

The current plan starts with gutting the entire build, tearing it down to the studs. This is because the building needs to be completely rewired to be brought up to code. This will also allow us to wire the building for audio-visual equipment. Gutting and wiring will be done by March 2024.

June 2024

The next step will be installing new insulation and sheet rock. This is where the theater will really begin to look like its final look. The interior of the building should be insulated, sheet-rocked, and painted by June 2024.

December 2024

The longest part of Phase 1 is next, creating the theater. We will start by building out our stage and back stage areas, as well as projector rooms. Once complete, we will lay out the chairs. Finally, all the audio-visual equipment will be installed. This should be completed by December 2024.

Phase 1

Phase 2

March 2025

Phase 2 starts with refacing the building. We want to ensure that not only does the building look new and ready for business, but it also has a sense of history to it. This will take place along with the renovation of the street-level storefront, to accommodate a street-level box office.

August 2025

Finishing touches to the structure will be made at this time, including new windows, fire escapes, doors, and whatever needs to be done to get us to the finish line.

December 2025

Tentatively, the Grand Opening of the Old Rose Theater is scheduled for December 5th, 2025; opening with an encore performance from the cast of the Colfax High School Musical, and the debut performance of the Whitman County Jazz band on December 6th.

The Budget

The current budget for the project is projected to be just shy of 2 million dollars. The first part of this is the purchase of the building. The building cost roughly $200,000, and it is currently purchased through a mortgage. We hope to put the first bit of money into paying off the building so that we can focus our attention and funds on improvement and restoration, instead of a monthly mortgage payment.

The project currently has received $70,000 through the Washington Stage Tourism Sustainability Grant, and is also in the running for $10,000 from the States Technical Assistance Grant; money from this grant specifically will go towards Audio-Visual Engineers and Equipment.
The Colfax Downtown Association Façade grant will also go toward rejuvenating the façade of the building.

We are also partnered with the Whitman County Historical Society as one of their sponsored projects.

Finally, the last of our current funds, aside from the funds raised through donations is a matching fund. An anonymous donor pledged to match any funds raised by the community up to $1,000,000 to help advance this project.

If you are interested in joining the project or donating to it, click the donate link down below. If you are unable to donate or help, please share the project with your community. This project is for the community of Colfax and will be by the community of Colfax.