Grand Opera House
425 E. Fourth Street,
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Dell Rapids' history records a great fire of 1888, after which residents made a resounding cry to have an opera house in their town. J.A. Cooley, a respected businessman, and M.R. Kenefick, a local lawyer and former Dell Rapids mayor, announced plans to construct a two-story building with an opera house and seating for nearly 450 people.
The Clair Patee Company was the first group to initiate the Grand Opera House in 1888 performing plays including “The Martyr” and “A Night Off”. From vaudeville and music concerts to minstrel and medicine shows, the Opera House hosted amateur productions, theatre groups and specialty acts.
In 1912, the O'Leary brothers purchased the building adding a projection booth, changing the opera house to a movie theater. Silent movies were first shown there, adding sound in the late-1920’s.
The Grand Opera House has been restored to its original Romanesque Revival splendor. Movies had ceased by 2016 and the theatre now presents live performances and is also a banquet hall.
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