Opera House Theatre

Anthony, KS 32901

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 17, 2020 at 8:58 pm

The 1889 edition of Jeffrey’s guide lists the Anthony Opera House with 850 seats (folding opera chairs) and a stage 24x60. The builders of the Anthony Opera House went out of state to Trinidad, Colorado for their architects, the Trinidad firm of Bulger & Rapp (Charles William Bulger and Isaac Hamilton Rapp.) The firm lasted for less than five years, after which Bulger left Trinidad, and Rapp was joined there by his brother William Rapp, forming a firm called Rapp & Rapp (not to be confused with the Chicago firm of the same name operated by Isaac and William’s older brothers Cornelius and George.)

This PDF file of the NRHP application for the Bulger & Rapp-designed Zion’s German Lutheran Church in Trinidad mentions the Anthony project, saying that the opera house was dedicated and opened on December 13, 1887. Bulger had been a prominent resident of Anthony for some time before moving to Trinidad.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on October 17, 2020 at 10:31 am

There is a Grand Opera House in Anthony KS listed in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. This guide does not list street addresses. Jennison & Rice were managers of the Grand OH. It had 900 seats and was upstairs on the second floor. The proscenium opening was 24 feet wide X 20 feet high, and the stage was 25 feet deep. There were 2 hotels for show folk, and 2 weekly newspapers. The population of Anthony as of 1897 was 2,500.