Newberry Opera House
1201 McKibben Street,
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The Newberry Opera House was completed in 1881 at a cost of $30,000. C.L. Norman, architect from Columbia, S.C., designed the French Gothic inspired structure. Silent “moving pictures” were shown at the Opera House in the early-1900’s. A “Thomas Edison Talkie” was presented in the late teens. It used a phonograph record for sound. Slowly, movies replaced the big stage shows, and in the 1920’s the Opera House was remodeled as a movie theater.
In 1952 with the showing of “The Outlaw”, the Opera House was closed as a movie theater. By 1959, there was talk about tearing it down, but a public outcry stopped the wrecking ball. The Newberry Historical Society in 1969 promoted the preservation of the Opera House, as did several other community groups. In 1970 the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The City of Newberry vacated the building in 1992. The exterior restoration and window replacement were completed in 1994. It is now host to the South Carolina Opera Company and Asheville Lyric Opera.
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