RIDGWAY – The final ‘Evenings of History’ lecture for 2014 will explore the history of Ridgway’s oldest performing arts venue. On Tuesday, Aug. 5, Brad Wallis will present “The History of the Sherbino Family and the Sherbino Theater” at 7:30 p.m. at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway.
Wallis will discuss the life of Louis Sherbino, the theater’s builder, and explain the theater’s role in Ridgway’s history. Built in 1915, the Sherbino has served as a de facto community center for much of its life. In the pre-Internet, pre-television age, people gathered at the theater to learn news of world events – such as the nation’s entry into World War I.
The Sherbino also served as the town post office on multiple occasions and as a roller rink at least twice, according to Wallis. “But it was built as a performing arts venue for the community, a role it continues to fulfill today,” he said.
In 2012, a group of citizens formed a nonprofit organization to restore and revitalize the neglected theater. The Ridgway Chautauqua Society Inc. operates and maintains the Sherbino, once again a popular performance venue and community event center.
Wallis has worked in nonprofit management in cooperation with national parks, forests and other public lands for the past 15 years. He has served as the executive director of Canyonlands Natural History Association in Moab, Utah; the Grand Canyon Association at Grand Canyon National Park; and most recently at Pacific Historic Parks, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
The ‘Evenings of History’ lecture series is presented each summer by the Ouray County Historical Society. Lectures are free for OCHS members, $5 for non-members.