National Geographic : 1954 Aug
Central City's Play + Festival Offers Broadway Stars In summer the mountain girt Colorado town casts off its ghostly appearance and looks much as it did almost a cen tury ago, when it was the cen ter of "the richest square mile on earth." To satisfy the demands of gold-rich miners who wanted only the best, the stone Opera House was built after the fire of 1874 had destroyed the town's flimsy wooden play houses. Early performers in cluded Lotta Crabtree, Edwin Booth, and Helena Modjeska (page 224). Since the first festival in 1932, the Opera House has drawn audiences and critics from all parts of the country. Here playgoers head for their seats to see Helen Hayes in "Mrs. McThing."