Root's Opera House

207 S. 3rd Street,
Laramie, WY 82070

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Root's Opera House

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In 1894 W. H. (Bill) Root bought the Blackburn Hall, which had been used as an assembling place for native wild animals— deer, elk, bear and antelope that were being held for sale to estates in England and other foreign countries. After Root’s death, his widow, Mrs. Helen Root, leased the building to a traveling medicine show, and the venture proved such success that the building was remodeled for a theater with Mrs. Root as manager. She ran the opera house until her death in 1927. Its seating capacity was 625. Many of the seats in the new Root’s Opera House sere purchased from the old Tabor Grand Opera House in Denver. Mrs. Root, known to the resident of Laramie as ‘Sissy’ Root, learned every phase of theater management, and hers was a familiar figure, with long brush an a paste bucket, atop a ladder and plank as she helped post bills. She was known to theatrical folks all over the country as the first ‘Woman Bill Poster.’ One-week engagements were played at Root’s Opera House by many touring companies in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, “East Lynne”, and other popular plays. In its later years, the opera house became a movie theater. The building that was the opera house still exists at 207 South 3rd Street.

Contributed by Tonyfilm16@aol.com

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rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 3, 2015 at 10:40 am

Listed under Laramie Wyoming in the 1897-98 Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide is the Opera House. Located on the ground floor, 600 seats, electric illumination, stage18 feet deep. H.E. Root, Mgr., W.H. Root, press agent. There were 2 daily newspapers, and one weekly. Hotels for show folk: Thornburgh, Custer. Railroad: Union Pacific. There was also a Maennerchor Hall in Laramie, 650 seats. 1897 population: 7,000.

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