Waterville Opera House

93 Main Street,
Waterville, ME 4901

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The Waterville Opera House, built in 1902 as the City Opera House, was decorated in the Beaux-Arts style popular around the turn of the 20th century and unusually ornate for a small town opera house.

It later became a vaudeville venue and later, in the 1940s, a movie house. The Opera House was closed in the 50s, when it was acquired by the Jaycees of Waterville who leased the auditorium for local groups. In the 1960s and 1970s, the stage was used once again for community theater.

The Waterville Opera House Association was formed to preserve and restore the theater for future generations. Today the Opera House serves as one of the finest performing arts venues in the state of Maine, with sumptuous decor, excellent acoustics, and state of the art technology.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on May 1, 2005 at 8:46 am

Which Waterville theatre is shown in this old postcard?

mhvbear
mhvbear on May 1, 2005 at 9:31 am

That was the Haines Theater that was totally destroyed in a fire in 1966. The movie playing at that time was ‘Georgy Girl’. It was probably the best of the Waterville Theaters. There was also the State, which has been converted to a resturant. After the Haines burned they started showing films at the Opera House again until the new theaters, Cinema 1 & 2 opened on Kennedy Memorial Drive in 1968.
I remember going to the Opera House for some Disney double features during 1966 & 1967.

frankie
frankie on July 28, 2006 at 8:18 am

My sisters, my niece and I have been vacationing here for about 10 years. The Opera House is indeed stunning. We saw a marvelous ballet company there. There is now a new movieplex to replace the old one across the street on Kennedy which had deteriorated, and is now a church. The plex is great, but the Opera House is magic from another era.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 4, 2007 at 10:43 am

Prior to the opening of the Opera House in Waterville, touring shows played at the City Hall auditorium, according to the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. It was located on the ground floor, had 700 seats and a stage 26 feet deep.

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