Croswell Opera House
129 E. Maumee Street,
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Croswell Opera House (Official)
Previously operated by: Butterfield Theaters
Architects: John C. Brompton, Horatio Nelson White
Functions: Live Performances, Live Theater, Special Events
Previous Names: Adrian Union Hall, Croswell Theatre
News About This Theater
- Aug 22, 2011 — Croswell Opera House celebrates 43 summers
The Croswell Opera House was opened in 1866 and was designed by architect Horatio Nelson White. It was converted into a 1,386-seat movie theatre from 1921 to the plans of architect John C. Brompton and in 1925 was equipped with a Kimball 2 manual theatre pipe organ. By 1941 the Croswell Theatre was operated by Butterfield Michigan Theaters Co. Movies continued until 1967. It returned to live performances in 1968. The Croswell Opera House was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 18, 1985.
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Under Adrian Michigan in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide is listed the New Croswell Opera House, C.D. Hardy, Mgr. Seating listed as 1,158; admission prices ranged from 25 cents to $1. The house had both gas and electric illumination. The proscenium opening was 28 feet wide X 18 feet high, and the stage was 37 feet deep. There were 8 in the house orchestra. Hotels were the Lawrence and the Emery. There were 2 daily newspapers, the Times and the Telegram, and 3 weeklies. Railroads were the LS&MS and the Wabash.
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1952 photo added credit Jeffrey Emerson.
An article in the Detroit Free Press of October 11, 1865, while the Croswell Opera House was under construction, said that the new house had been designed by Syracuse, New York architect Horatio Nelson White. Among White’s innovations at the Croswell, he employed a system of trusses, braces and iron ties to support the horseshoe-shaped gallery, eliminating the need for columns or heavy brackets on the main floor. This was of course lost when the auditorium was gutted for the 1921 reconstruction to the plans of John C. Brompton.