Bell's Opera House

111 South High Street,
Hillsboro, OH 45133

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Bell's Opera House

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Launching as a live venue on November 20, 1895, C.S. Bell’s Opera House was a live venue at 111 South High Street. Hillsboro got a full-time movie theatre right across the street with the Fair Theatorium (later the Forum Theatre). This proved challenging to the Opera House financially.

Former Orpheum Theatre and Forum Theatre manager George A. Rea took on the neighboring Opera House converting it for use as a silent movie house in 1923/4 and it was taken over by Chakeres Theatres in 1939 and it was renamed Bell’s Theatre. They closed the movie theatre in 1942 and briefly went back to live theatre use for a year. It reopened as a movie theatre in 1957, reverting back to its original name Bell’s Opera House. Restoration plans came in the 21st Century as the town tried to preserve this second-floor auditorium.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 18, 2016 at 1:15 pm

Both Bell’s Opera House and the Orpheum Theatre at Hillsboro were mentioned in an item in the December 12, 1908, issue of The Moving Picture World:

“Hillsboro, Ohio.—The Bell Opera House, which only opened with moving pictures on Thanksgiving, reports good business. Only high-class pictures are shown and highclass vaudeville.

“The Orpheum Theater has discarded the old style folding chairs and installed comfortable metal frame high back opera chairs.”

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