Arts organizations renovate iconic Golden buildings & elevate arts in the heart of Golden

GOLDEN, Colo….Everytime the curtains rise at the new Miners Alley Performing Arts Center, it signals more than the start of the show. It also marks the beginning of a downtown arts revival. Golden has long had a flourishing – if somewhat undiscovered – arts scene. Critically acclaimed Miners Alley Playhouse was quietly tucked into a second story theater off Washington Avenue. Regional arts powerhouse, Foothills Arts Center, sat outside the main downtown core, up a hill from the more commercial blocks of Washington Avenue. Both tended to be destinations you knew you were heading to rather than a place you might happen upon.

But that’s changed with two of the biggest renovations in recent Golden history. Miners Alley Performing Arts Center opened in early December, taking over the former Meyer Hardware, located at 11th and Arapahoe. Meyer Hardware was a mainstay of Golden for decades offering locals a place to shop, meet and be a part of the community. Located behind Washington Avenue, Meyer Hardware neighbors the historic Astor House, yet another community hub from a bygone era. The Astor House, located at the corner of 12th and Arapahoe, is the oldest boarding house in the State, and offered refuge, warm showers and home cooked meals to early settlers. In early 2024, the Astor House will debut as gallery space for Foothills Arts Center. Together, the new Foothills Arts Center Gallery and Miners Alley Performing Arts Center are bringing a new artistic era to Golden.

“Golden’s art scene will elevate like never before thanks to the openings of Miner’s Alley and Foothills Art Center right in the middle of our downtown,” said Megan Pinson with Visit Golden. “While many downtowns are featuring new urbanism type developments, we’re thrilled that two very unique and historic Golden properties will keep their character and most importantly, continue to serve as vital community gathering spots.”

With its newly renovated building, Miners Alley Playhouse has evolved into Miners Alley Performing Arts Center. The previous theater was snug and could sit 110 - 130 depending on the layout, while the new theater currently easily seats 160 with plans to expand that to 300. There is a spacious backstage area with state-of-the art production capabilities, and in the front of the house, patrons are welcomed into a roomy foyer, reception area and large bar, along with plenty of restrooms. Currently, the new space only occupies half of the 35,000 sf building. Plans and fundraising are underway for phase 2, which would create more performing space, community classrooms, children’s theater space, and more.

Just next door, the Astor House is close to completion and when finished Foothills Arts Center will double in size as an organization. Its original building will be retained for classroom instruction and offices and the Astor House will feature exhibit space. 

Miners Alley’s first performances in its new space were in December with a holiday show, “The Great American Trailer Park Christmas” with a full slate of performances set for 2024. Foothills Arts Center will open in early 2024 and likewise will feature several rotating exhibits throughout the year. Both are conveniently located near dozens of restaurants, making for a perfect day out or date night in Golden.

Hassan Najjar, executive director of Foothills Art Center, noted, “We’re only a quarter mile away from our original location, but this corner is a game changer for how easy it is to experience the arts in Golden.”

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