1158 35th Avenue
Over 30 years ago, several Columbus residents sensed the need for a community theatre in the area. Spearheaded by Tony Nielsen and Bill Swanson, a group of interested citizens was assembled and, after some discussion, the Playhouse was born. The name "Platte Valley Playhouse" was chosen to indicate the area-wide nature of the future organization. People interested in the theatrical arts from surrounding communities were encouraged to become participants.
Since that time, over 100 shows have been produced by the Playhouse, most on the stage of Central Community College. The Playhouse has been very fortunate in having the support of the College in producing its shows. In fact, about 15 shows have been co-produced by the Playhouse and the College Theatre Department. Quite a number of college students have continued their involvement with the Playhouse after graduation.
About 15 years ago, someone suggested that adding a dinner theatre to the Playhouse's main stage season would be a good idea. In the intervening years dinner theatres have been staged at such diverse places as the New World Inn, Wunderlichs, The American Legion Club, the Elks Country Club, and currently at the VFW Club.
It is estimated that over the years approximately 1200 different people have been participants in Playhouse productions, some on-stage, many back-stage. Estimates of attendance at Playhouse shows over that period range from 72,000 to 90,000.
The Platte Valley Playhouse has been a long-standing member of the Nebraska Association of Community Theatres and has competed in their semi-annual theatre competition on a number of occasions. Twice the Playhouse has won the state competition; once with "Quilters" and again with "The Boys in Autumn."