The History of The Midway Theater
The Revival of a Main Street Favorite
In The Beginning
In 1916, The Midway Theater was designed and constructed by G.G. Burr, in downtown Burlington, Colo. A local attorney and businessman, Louis Vogt, became the major influence in making the theater into a cultural center. In the Midway’s early years, it played host to various plays, musical productions and theatrical performances.
A Main Street Favorite
The Midway Theater remained a Main Street icon for decades, entertaining Burlington and its surrounding communities with weekend movies and delicious popcorn. The Midway had multiple owners throughout the years, each putting their own mark on the theater. The one thing that remained true, no matter the owner, was the name, The Midway.
The Midway Goes Dark
In 2012, due to film distributor’s digital format, the theater’s then owner, was forced with the decision to upgrade to a new digital projector or close the theater. Not willing to invest in the expensive equipment, the owner made the difficult decision to close the doors to The Midway. The community was saddened by this decision, for their Main Street mainstay was dark, forcing them to travel over 30 miles to watch a newly released movie.
The Revival Begins
In March of 2015, Our Hometown Charitable Foundation was organized as a non-profit organization, with a mission to help enrich the lives of people in their community. The primary vision for this foundation was the renovation of The Midway Theater. The foundation quickly secured funding for the acquisition of The Midway Theater and never looked back. OHCF rallied the community’s enthusiasm for the theater with a series of “Drag Main for the Midway” fundraisers. This became a local favorite, allowing community members the chance to showcase their cars, while depositing cash donations in large popcorn tubs at the end of Burlington’s Main Street.
A New Beginning
The project took almost two years from start to finish. To date, the foundation was able to raise $115,000 in fundraising, $219,000 in personal donations, $296,000 in grants, $70,000 business donations, $130,000 in donated professional services and 2000 volunteer hours! The Midway was fully restored, with new seats, bathrooms, concession area and digital projection equipment. One hundred years after the theater was first constructed, in December of 2016, The Midway’s big screen lit up once again, reuniting Burlington’s Main Street with an old friend, the neon glow of The Midway marquee.