The History of the Worm Creek Opera House
Built in 1930, having a rich history in Preston, Idaho, the Worm Creek Opera House, formerly known as The Grand Theatre, is a much appreciated resource in our great community. In 1986, the Theatre was a vacant building that had not been used for several years. Under the direction of a committee of citizens, the architecturally sound building was purchased and paid for entirely with private donations as part of a community development effort. The building was then deeded to Franklin County. The theatre then began operating under the direction of a committee which was appointed by the county commissioners until 1995. At that time, the theatre committee incorporated as a Nonprofit Corporation under the name of Franklin County Theatre/Arts Council. The Arts Council then leased the Worm Creek Opera House from the county at the request of the County Commissioners. From the beginning , the theatre has been used for live theatre productions and the Arts. Between live productions, it is used to show movies, thus providing the only movie venue in Preston.
The name Worm Creek Opera House was given to the theatre to bring us back to our roots. When Preston was first settled, it was called Worm Creek after a creek that runs on the East side of town. The name was changed to Preston because many didn’t think Worm Creek was a fitting name for a town. In the early days the town had a building they called the “Opera House” where most of the cultural activities and entertainment took place. Since the purpose of the building was to be a center for cultural activities and entertainment the name Worm Creek Opera House seems to be a natural.
The first major renovation of the theatre was culminated in 1993 with many private donations and some very generous grants. This included new ADA Restrooms, new electrical service and wiring upgrades, plaster repairs and painting. Also, thanks to the Capital Theatre in Logan we received new (to us) seats.
In 1997, we added dressing rooms, scenery storage and a much needed costume room in the back.
Recently, the theatre has received a new roof, final touches on a sound system for movies, and upgrade marquee and signage in front. Also major improvements to the light and sound systems for live productions and a new baby grand piano.