The Casino Theatre, constructed in 1912, is historically significant as the best example of “high style” architecture in Gunnison and as the first and only theatre constructed in the town. A two-story rectangular building with its narrow end facing Main Street, the theatre stands among modestly styled commercial buildings of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The theatre was used for both movies and live productions, serving for nine decades as the principal center of commercial entertainment in Gunnison.
One of the most ornate examples of the Beaux Arts style in Utah, its symmetrical facade features elaborate Beaux Arts elements, such as large fluted columns supporting arched pediments, a heavy cornice decorated with modillions and dentils, and terra cotta floral garlands and bas-relief cherubs over a recessed central entrance. Twin winged victories rose above arched windows on the second story. The interior includes a large auditorium with a stage on the main floor, dressing rooms in he rear basement, and a four-room apartment and projection room in the front section of the second story.
The theatre owes its existence to Sims M. Duggins, an active businessman, promoter and owner of the Gunnison Co-op and other enterprises. The Duggins family managed the building until the mid-1930s and owned it until the 1940s. From 1936 to 1940, manager C. E. Huish made a number of changes to the building, including the name change from the Casino Theatre to the Star Theatre.
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