Grand Opera House / Madison Theater - 222-224 West Main Street - Another view
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The original structure was a Methodist Church erected in the 1850s. When it was converted into an opera house, there was additional space added in the back for a stage area. A balcony was needed and a new facade was added. It opened in 1886 and the building remained basically the same until its destruction on March 17, 1960. The original opera house presented everything from Shakespeare to Uncle Tom's Cabin, ballet to soft shoe, but as the new innovation, movies, came into being, the opera house began to move to modernization. After the turn of the century, stage presentations gave way to the innovation of silent movies. In 1929-30 George Holwager, manager, announced the acquisition of equipment to enable the theater to present "talking movies." In 1935 "high fidelity" was introduced by Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy in "Naughty Marietta." The grand old lady was leveled to make way for a parking lot in 1960.
|Harry Lemen, photographer|