Matthews Opera House

612 North Main Street,
Spearfish, SD 57783

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Additional Info

Firms: Bartlett & Phillips

Functions: Live Performances

Styles: Italian Renaissance

Previous Names: Princess Theatre

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Matthews Opera House

The Matthews Opera House opened on December 3, 1906 as a live venue. With film mixed in, motion pictures proved to be a more profitable concept and the Matthews was changed to the Princess Theatre in February 1913.

On May 13, 1930, the Princess Theatre closed and the Vita Theatre opened with talkies replacing the former Opera House/Theatre. Seats were moved to the Vita Theatre and the Princess Theatre was used as an indoor shooting gallery and held some dances.

In 1966, seating came back and the Matthews Opera House had live events with very antiquated conditions. In 1986, plans to rejuvenate the Opera House occurred. In 2006, at the Centennial, the new era of the updated Matthews Opera House began with live events.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 6, 2018 at 1:27 pm

The NRHP registration form for the Spearfish Historic Commercial District says that the Matthews Opera House Block was designed by the Deadwood architectural firm Bartlett & Phillips.

The Opera House was originally slated to have been designed by Deadwood architect Ortho C. Jewett, who had designed for Matthews the heavily rusticated block built at the corner of Hudson Street in 1900. The Opera House was announced in the April, 1901, issue of the building trades journal Stone

"Spearfish, S. D.—Thomas N. Matthews will erect a theater and business building of buff sandstone and steel frame, costing $25,000. 0. C. Jewett, Deadwood, architect.”
Jewett’s death in April, 1902, and the five-year delay in the construction of the project, probably prevented the Opera House from having the same facade as his 1900 building. Bartlett & Phillips chose a more modern Italianate style for their design, which was continued in the 1912 addition to the north (622-630 North Main) which completed the building as it stands today.

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