Smyrna Opera House

7 W. South Street,
Smyrna, DE 19977

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Smyrna Opera House - Smyrna Delaware

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Opera House opened on December 20, 1869. It began screening movies in 1935. Nice neighberhood type theatre with balcony and cry rooms which tended to run second run product. It was operated by Schwartz Theatres of Dover.

It was converted into a hardware store in the late-1970’s. In around 2001, it was converted back to a theater as a performing arts venue.

Contributed by Jonathan M. Crist

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 15, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Here is another photo of the Smyrna Opera House:
http://tinyurl.com/cy282s

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 15, 2009 at 6:10 pm

I’m having a little trouble reconciling the 1948 exterior photo posted on 7/9/07 with the current photos of the building. I’m hoping that we’re not mixing up the Opera House with another stand alone theater called the Smyrna.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Last comment on this: I guess from reading the history they tore it down after the fire in 1948 and rebuilt it later. Question answered.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm

They do look like two different buildings, though.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 15, 2009 at 6:24 pm

Unless like they said, they tore down all the old parts and then much later rebuilt everything to look like the opera house. Still odd, though.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 15, 2009 at 6:29 pm

So it’s a facsimile of the old building.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 15, 2009 at 6:38 pm

That’s what I think. I just can’t turn the 1948 photos into this place, even with the rebuilding. Not sure if the original addition was for the 1948 place and then the mention of performing arts was added after the first post on 4/29/05. I can see the history being theater and then hardware store.

RichardCWolfe
RichardCWolfe on June 8, 2009 at 8:56 am

These are two different theatres.

The information in the heading above gives the proper information for the Symnra theatre, but the wrong address which is what has caused the confusion. 7 West South Street is the location of the restored Opera House.

The Symnra theatre built in the 40s is located at aprox. 106 South Commerce Street, about three blocks from the Opera House. The building is still there, but what it currently is used for I have no idea.

If you go to Live Search Maps, type in the 106 South Commerce Street address and you will see the building on the birds eye view. To the left of the theatre are some parking lots, then a church. Look at the exterior photo from the July 9th, 2007 post above, and you will see the building shape conforms to that in the ariel view, and you will see the church to the left.

muviebuf
muviebuf on January 28, 2017 at 11:54 am

The opening description is wrong. The Opera House was built in 1869. It began screening movies in 1935. It was known variously as the Roxy and the Como.

As Richard Wolfe notes in his 2009 comment The Smyrna Opera House is separate and distinct from the 1948 movie theatre which was built on Commerce Street for the George M Schwartz chain from Dover Delaware. It was the 1948 Smyrna theatre that had the balcony and cry rooms. The link to the 1948 pictures (posted in 2007) by Ken Mcintyre are pictures of the Schwartz Symrna Theatre on Commerce Street and are not pictures Symrna Opera House. In fact you can see the balcony and glass enclosed cry rooms in one of Mcintyre’s pictures. That Mcintyre link should most likely be moved to the Smyrna Theatre on Commerce Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 28, 2017 at 6:28 pm

Here is the web site of the Smyrna Opera House. A history page says that the walls of the two lower floors survived the 1948 fire, but the top floor and decorative tower were unrepairable and were demolished. The two surviving floors were roofed over, leaving a flat-roofed, two-story structure, but when the building was renovated a few years ago the mansarded third floor and tower were reconstructed.

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