Community December 21, 2020

A Look Back in Time

Sun Valley Motors takes the stage as The Argyros Performing Arts Center

The soaring glass, steel and wood face of The Argyros Performing Arts Center, built just two years ago in 2018, had a life on Ketchum’s Main Street before becoming the center for culture and arts at the corner of Main and 1st Streets. It is a story that traces the history and storied past of Ketchum’s Main Street and includes the Argyros’  immediate predecessor, the nexStage Theater, and prior to that, a renovated car dealership, a storage house for Ketchum’s emergency vehicles and fire engines.

From 1992 until 2018 nexStage Theater produced plays, musicals and readings, it also hosted children’s theater camps, workshops and classes, and it served as a community center. It was financed by the Sun Valley Theatre Company and was closely affiliated with the Sun Valley Repertory Company and several other local theater groups. During its tenure the nexStage Theater hosted other events put on by over thirty Wood River Valley nonprofits. But it was not housed in the same building as the Argyros. The nexStage Theater was located inside a renovated car dealership, Sun Valley Motor.


Members of the Sun Valley Repertory Company outside the Sun Valley Motors building prior to the NexStage renovation, November 1991


A long-time mainstay of Ketchum Main Street, Sun Valley Motors was a Jeep/Dodge/Chrysler dealership. Similar to the theaters that came after it, the dealership gave back to the Wood River Valley community. Starting in the spring of 1975, Sun Valley Motors also housed several Ketchum fire trucks and ambulances in its back warehouse. The Sun Valley Motors dealership, which became the nexStage Theater building, was feeling its age and in desperate need of repair by 2018, when it was demolished in order to make way for the state-of-the-art Argyros Performing Arts Center. To date, The Argyros has already hosted music, dance, live theater, and film from around the globe, contributing yet another chapter to the south end of Ketchum’s Main Street.

This article appears in the Winter 2020 Issue of Sun Valley Magazine.