Arcadia Opera House
106 W. Oak Street,
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The Arcadia Opera House was constructed in 1906, making it one of the first buildings built after a large fire destroyed most of downtown Arcadia in 1905. The opera house, as its name suggests, was mostly used for plays and musical acts, as well as political rallies and the occasional church function. As motion pictures gained popularity, a screen was added and movies were shown on a regular basis. I don’t know exactly when movies ceased being shown here, but I imagine it was by the 1940’s.
The Opera House hasn’t been a venue in decades, but the building is remarkably well-preserved. Small shops occupy the ground floor and the second floor, home to the former theater, is now a large antique mall with a special section dedicated to the old theater. It’s worth a stop if you ever find yourself near Arcadia, Florida.
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