Grand Opera House/Madison Theater-222-224 West Main Street-Another view

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Grand Opera House/Madison Theater-222-224 West Main Street-Another view




The original structure was a Methodist Church erected in the 1850s. When it was converted into an opera house, there was additional space added in the back for a stage area. A balcony was needed and a new facade was added. It opened in 1886 and the building remained basically the same until its destruction on March 17, 1960. The original opera house presented everything from Shakespeare to Uncle Tom's Cabin, ballet to soft shoe, but as the new innovation, movies, came into being, the opera house began to move to modernization. After the turn of the century, stage presentations gave way to the innovation of silent movies. In 1929-30 George Holwager, manager, announced the acquistion of equipment to enable the theater to present "talking movies." In 1935 "high fidelity" was introduced by Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy in "Naughty Marietta." Another modern discovery may have helped contribute to the demise of the old theater. With the advent of TV, movie houses all over the country were finding it hard to compete. The grand old lady was leveled to make way for a parking lot in 1960.


Harry Lemen, photographer


Madison Courier; Historical Files


Torn down March 1960; picture taken 1927


Madison-Jefferson County Public Library


Permission to reproduce this image for other than personal use must be requested from the Director of the Madison-Jefferson County Public Library. Please contact at 420 W. Main Street Madison, IN 47250 (812) 265-2744


Scanned from photographic print created by Harry Lemen at 1200 DPI using a Microtek ScanMaker 9800XL. Online jpeg image file saved at 72 DPI 800 to 1000 pixels on long edge.


Still image



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Harry Lemen, photographer, "Grand Opera House/Madison Theater-222-224 West Main Street-Another view," in Harry Lemen Historic Photo Collection, Item #44, (accessed May 24, 2015).