Ranney's Fifth Avenue Opera House

225 E. 5th Avenue,
Arkansas City, KS 67005

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rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 2, 2017 at 10:25 am

The Fifth Avenue Opera House in Arkansas City is listed in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. It had 1,400 seats and Frank Hess was Mgr. Ticket prices 25 cents to $1. The theater was on the ground floor. The proscenium opening was 36 feet square, and the stage was 40 feet deep. There was one daily newspaper and 4 weeklies. Hotels for show folk were the Gladstone and the Midland. Railroads were the Santa Fe and the Frisco. The theater had both electric and gas lighting. The 1897 population was 9,000.

SethG on December 1, 2017 at 6:01 pm

Thanks for the info!

GaryL on February 6, 2017 at 12:03 pm

The building that occupies the same spot as the 5th Ave Opera House is indeed currently the Ark City recreation center. But it was originally built (in the 1940’s, I believe) by Spencer-Ralston VFW Post #1254.

SethG on September 22, 2015 at 3:47 pm

Was that building built as a rec center? It’s got some neat deco touches, although the opera house was far superior. Surprised something that big was so far out of downtown, although I assume the enormous expanse of parking lots probably used to be something more interesting.

JohnnyC. on August 31, 2015 at 11:49 am

Fifth Avenue Opera House was located at 225 East Fifth Avenue. The building was demolished and the Arkansas City recreation center was built at this address.

SethG on August 30, 2015 at 5:05 pm

A quick peek at street view confirms that there is nothing like this on Fifth Ave. Demolition confirmed.