Hyatt's Opera House

322 E. Main Street,
Olney, IL 62450

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Hyatt's Opera House

Built in 1896 by John Schmid, the Opera House was typical in it’s day as being part of a government or commercial building. In this case it was on the second floor above a general store. The lower level and balcony contained 900 seats.

The venue was used for opera, vaudeville, movies and meetings.

It has been described as one of the finest in Southern Illinois.

The Opera House was purchased by J. H. Hyatt in either 1901 or 1902. A fire destroyed the building. Once, again, there are conflicting dates. One local report has the date as October 19, 1910 and yet it was listed as showing movies in the 1914-1915 period. I’m inclined to think the latter is correct because of the source.

Culligan’s Water Service occupies the building now at that site. Accordingly, I used their address in the heading since it conforms to the original description I found as being at the intersection of E. Main Street and Boone Street.

Contributed by rob boehm

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

robboehm on February 16, 2021 at 12:44 pm

Uploaded postcard images of the building in which the Opera House was contained and two, basically, identical, interior shots, one of which is personalized in 1906.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on February 16, 2021 at 2:31 pm

In the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide there is a Shultz’s Opera House in Olney. Was that this theatre? It was located on the second floor and had 600 seats. A.E. Shultz was Mgr. Tickets, 25 cents & 50 cents. It had a huge orchestra with 22 players. Electric illumination.
One mark of an old theatre is when the roof of the stage house has slanted sides, as we see in the photo here.

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