August 14, 2018
This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
Today’s story was taken from a December 1982 article found in the “Junction City Daily Union” newspaper written by Bob Honeyman, a staff writer. Bob wrote that “The Junction City Commission accepted a deed to the property (at the corner of Seventh and Jefferson, which was then then the Colonial Theater and had previously been the Opera House), which was a gift from Fred and Dorothy Bramlage. The building had housed the police and fire departments and city jail from 1882 until about 1937, when the Municipal Building was built across the street from the Colonial Theatre on the northwest corner of Seventh and Jefferson Streets. The Municipal Building was a WPA project.
The building was purchased by the Bramlages from Commonwealth Theatres, Inc. Commonwealth purchased the building for a cinema after WWII and operated it there until the Westside Twin Cinema was opened in the Westside Shopping Center.
According to Bramlage, he had admired the historic building since he was a youth and wanted it to be preserved and put to good use. Bramlage added that it is his desire that the structure be used as a convention center “to help the motels and bring business to the community.”
Commissioner Eunice Lesser stated that the city’s future plans for the theater called for it to be converted into a convention center and a new home for the Junction City Little Theatre. Deeds for the transfer of the Colonial from Commonwealth to the Bramlages and from the Bramlages to the city were filed simultaneously on Tuesday, November 30, 1982.
We have been sharing historic information about the Opera House on Tuesdays for the past eight months. If you are interested in reading the scripts, they can be found on our blog at gearyhistory.blogspot.com or you can listen to the scripts read by visiting the C.L. Hoover Opera House website and click on “Our Past Is Present."
And… as always… thanks for reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society on 1420 KJCK. The Talk of JC.