Although this immense building yet lacks much of completion both outside and in, it was thrown open to the public last evening as announced. Hundreds of our citizens visited it for the first time on this occasion . . . . it is without doubt the largest and best arranged variety theatre in the entire West . . . . The place is already brilliantly lighted with gas, and we are informed by Mr. Kemp that only about one-half of the number of jets have been put in. Although well lighted, the heating of the place was a miserable failure. It was simply bitter cold in the boxes, on the stage and every nook and corner, save within a few feet of the stoves in front, and audience, actors and management shivered and trembled as if with ague. Many left the house before the entertainment was over solely on this account. It was simply a huge game of “freeze out,” in which the clerk of the weather held the winning hand. Mr. Kemp promises to remedy this by putting in more stoves to-day.I found a number of things intriguing in this passage: The numbers of people (!hundreds!) that showed up on opening night (a Wednesday). The gaslights, already installed. The intense cold. The description of the cold is a reminder to me that, even in those public places crammed with people, the chill of a Leadville winter was difficult to overcome.
More about the Grand Central in my next post.