The Columbian Theatre & Art Center
 521 Lincoln
Wamego, Kansas 66547
(800) 899-1893

Open Tuesday - Saturday
Call for hours or to schedule a tour

Columbian Theatre Map
OZ Museum

Columbian Theatre, Museum and Art Center - Wamego, Kansas
Columbian Theatre, Museum and Art Center
Columbian Theatre, Museum and Art Center - Wamego, Kansas

The Columbian Theater in Wamego, Kansas is a restored 1895 theatre which began as a music hall and first hosted vaudeville performances & concerts, then silent pictures and finally modern motion pictures before going dark in 1950. The theatre was built by Wamego's J. C. Rogers who had visited the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition (Chicago World's Fair) and purchased paintings and other artifacts back to furnish the new music hall. 

Restoration of the theatre began in 1989 and the Columbian reopened for live shows and special events in 1994. On the day that these photos were taken, the Columbian Theatre was being prepared for a wedding reception. 

The most interesting features of the Columbian Theater are 6 large murals and various other furnishings which have survived from the World's Columbian Exposition. 

Tours of the Columbian Theater can be arranged with advance notice, or you can take an online tour at the Columbian Theatre website. This calendar lists some of the upcoming special events.

The Columbian Theater is also said to be haunted and a member of the staff generously provided the following background on the Colombian Theatre ghost:

The first time I experienced anything was way back before I worked there.  I was helping with summer theater academy and my friend & I were painting the set on stage and we were expecting another lady to show up to help us and we heard someone come up the back steps from the dressing below and called out " that you?" and we received no answer.  I looked at my friend and said..."you did hear someone come up the steps didn't you?"  she said she did.  We looked and there was no one there.  I was a believer after that. 

When you are working the front desk and are the only one in the building...often it sounds like someone is working on the stage like building a set or something.  There is always this "drop" that you hear.  It always has two bounces...'thud' thud'.  It sounds like something fell on the stage, but no one is there and nothing fell. 

One lady that used to work there, told of the time she & another gal were eating lunch at the table and they lifted up the linen table cloth so they wouldn't get it dirty and the table cloth went down and a chair scooted in like someone just sat down with them to eat.

On the ground level, frequently there is a "popping" or "dropping" sound in the northwest corner of the art gallery that has never been explained. At other times, multiple people have heard someone walking in the gallery and would look, but no one was there. 

Just recently, staff members heard unexplained carnival music on the stage.

The Columbian Theatre ghost has been nicknamed JC for JC Rogers, but they have no idea who or what it is.

These paintings were commissioned by the U.S. Treasury Department and originally hung in the rotunda of the United
States Government Building at the 1893 World's Fair. 

Peddicord Playhouse at Wamego's Columbian Theatre.
288 seat Peddicord Playhouse.

"Steel and Industrial Arts" by Theodore Behr

McAninch Lobby at The Columbian Theatre.

 Art on exhibit in the Swogger Gallery. Dinner is served here prior to many of the events in the Peddicord Playhouse.

Cedar Bluffs State Park near Ogallah, Kansas
Painting of Cedar Bluffs State Park near Ogallah, Kansas.

Props stored in the Columbian Theatre basement. This area of the theater has never been reported as haunted.

Columbian Theatre, Museum and Art Center Map - Wamego, Kansas
Columbian Theatre, Museum and Art Center Map

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