Diamond in the Rough
● By Style
Photo by Dante Fontana
In 1939, the Division of Natural Resources at the Golden Gate International Exposition built a beautiful log cabin.
It was then moved to Pollock Pines, and when June Scott heard it was going to be burned, she put on her best dress and went straight to the state capitol to talk to Ronald Reagan.
Fortunately, Scott received the building and already had a piece of land donated to her by the Vineyard House in Coloma for her future project. In 1973, she started the Golden 100 Club, in which she asked 100 people to donate $100 to complete the construction of the Olde Coloma Theatre; in 1975, it was finished.
“My mother was a beautiful, hard-working woman who always loved drama,” the founder’s daughter, Vickey Scott Moreno says. “She threw her whole heart into it – wrote scripts, did the casting, made the costumes and the scenery.” Moreno says her mother became a widow at 48 years old and lived in Los Angeles until her father, Virgil Scott, passed away and they moved up north. Her parents met while performing and did various gigs, including acting as extras in Hollywood when she was young. Scott was also the drama director for her church. According to Moreno, she wanted to open the theatre to give the community a chance to enjoy drama as much as she did.
Moreno took over where her mother left off. When she was young, Moreno and her three siblings would act in the theatre, and when older, she became the main actress, “Miss Goldie,” as well as went on to write numerous melodramas. One of her melodramas and fundraising efforts became such a success that it is what now keeps the theatre thriving.
“I wrote informational melodramas, geared for fourth-grade students, that make it fun for kids to watch and learn about history,” she says. The school plays run February through June, when students study the Gold Rush period in California. It is a certified element of the California fourth grade history curriculum. “We have hundreds of school children from all over California, as well as from all over the U.S., who come to Coloma to see our show,” Vice President of the Board of the Olde Coloma Theatre, Carol Fallon, says.
Fallon is one of seven members on the Board who oversees the production of the theatre. It is a nonprofit, so it holds fundraisers as well as utilizes sponsors to run a business-card-size advertisement in their program and Web site. “The community is wonderful,” Moreno says. “I love the feeling of laughter and fun that everyone has. It is wholesome good fun located in such a historic setting.” Because it is located in the heart of the Gold Country, the shows are always set in the 1800s and are melodramas (audience participates by applauding and laughing).
Just in time for the holidays, the Olde Coloma Theatre is performing “Christmas In Coloma” and “Woe Is The Little Orphan’s Nanny,” written by June Scott. The performances opened November 19 and run through Sunday, December 19.
“I feel that the Theatre is a real gem in our beautiful El Dorado County,” Fallon says. Olde Coloma Theatre is always holding auditions and accepting volunteers.
For more information, visit oldecolomatheatre.com or call 530-626-5282.