Founded in 1869 on land donated by B.F. Wadsworth, a wood frame structure was built as a one room schoolhouse for the small number of children that lived in the area. In the year 1882, the current brick and mortar building replaced the original wooden structure. Arvada’s first schoolhouse closed in 1920, when the construction of Arvada High School was finished.

On January 25, 1921 with some help from Edith M. West, the newly empty schoolhouse became Arvada’s first movie theater. What did they pay to see pictures back then you may be wondering? 25 cents for adults and 11 for kids! (The good ole days, huh?) When remodeling, construction workers were said to have found old film cells on the premises.

The building remained a theater through World War II all the way up until 1952, after which it housed a variety of businesses, including a sporting goods store and a dance school, just to name a few. Next to the schoolhouse, in what we call the “home room,” were a number of cafes, most famous of which was Milner’s Cafe owned by Bill & Grace Milner. They lived with their family in the apartments above, an area now known as “The Teacher’s Lounge.” The building only had one bathroom at the time, so the Milners and their customers had to share.

Over the years, the building changed hands time and time again, until 2015, when the Spears family brought back the golden age of Olde Town Arvada by bringing us all back to school once again…