The beautiful theater drops for the Scottish Reunions were painted at the Great Western Stage Company in Kansas City, Missouri in 1951, 1952 and 1953. They were commissioned for the Kansas City, Kansas Valley and hung there until 1995 when this Valley purchased them and brought them to Omaha. They now hang in our Historic Theater.
In 1994, the Northwest Kansas Valley located in Kansas City, Kansas sold their building. It needed several repairs, the local area had become dangerous and very few Brothers were attending functions anymore. Once they had a buyer for the building, they offered their scenery for sale. Omaha Valley was the only bidder. We purchased 25 different scenes that had been painted by the Great Western Stage Co. in Kansas City, Missouri in 1951, ‘52 and ’53 The painter was Carlos Dubois. Our late Bro. Jim Smith, 32° KCCH who owned a moving company in Omaha with offices in Kansas City offered to take the scenery down, roll it on plastic pipe (donated by Bro. Bob Wilczewski, 32°) and bring it to the Omaha Valley.
We contracted with Omaha Stage Company to hang them in our theater. Upon close inspection it was determined the curtain rigging was original to the 1920’s with a wood block, a shaft and pulley and a nail holding the shaft in the wood block. It was decided to hang new rigging. Now there are 536 steel pulleys with Timken bearings, 25,000 feet of steel cable and 5000 feet of pull ropes in their place. The drops were hemmed and hung. As our stage is not as deep as Kansas City so we ended up with 22 scenes hanging. We also added new lighting while we were there.
Even though our drops are over 50-years old, they still have beautiful colors and depth that is amazing when sitting in the audience watching during the ritual. Scottish Rite, nationally, is the only theaters to have early 20th Century scenery left in use today. Other theaters either painted over their original drops or they were destroyed over time. If you travel to the different Valleys you will see nearly the same scenery hanging, all painted from sketches by Thomas Moses.
We are truly blessed to have such value here in Omaha. Please enjoy the slide show of the different scenes.
About the Editor
Brother Curtis M. Edic, 33°, serves the Omaha Valley as General Secretary. His duties include recording all transactions of the Valley and keeping current member records. He oversees the operations of the building and helps with member activities.
He also serves as the Scottish Rite Foundation of Nebraska as Secretary and the Scottish Rite Foundation of Omaha as Secretary/Treasuerer.
Joining the Scottish Rite builds your character and opens a social network of men who have
been on the same journey. If not for Scottish Rite there may never be a chance to meet some
but as a member you would find them a friend.