The Imperial Hotel Players Photograph Collection contains images of stage performances of the Imperial Hotel Players. The Imperial Hotel was built in 1896, during the heyday of the Cripple Creek gold rush. It was an elegant building boasting of such luxuries as steam heat, baths and electric lights. Over the years, the hotel ownership passed through many hands, closed briefly in 1944, and reopened again in 1946. In 1947, the owners contracted with young actors groups from the region, and by 1950 the hotel began producing its own plays. Among the more notable performers to star on the stage of the Imperial were Max Morath, the piano player, Craig T. Nelson, Tom Paxton, Johnny Horton, and The Walton’s co-star Ronnie Claire Edwards. In 1992 the hotel was sold and became the Imperial Hotel and Casino.