The Greensboro Opera House was built in 1903 on the site of an earlier opera house. The original, built in the 1890′s, had burned the preceding year. Although it was grand in design for a small town like Greensboro, the Greensboro Opera House was typical of opera houses built across the nation at that period–a three story building with retail stores on the ground floor and theater and offices on the second and third.
The Greensboro Opera House served as a multi-purpose cultural facility for visiting theater groups, local drama, concerts, lectures, town meetings, and dances. With the advent of motion pictures, it was used as the first movie theater until a “real” movie theater was built. Although it continued for some years as a meeting place and performing arts center, the Greensboro Opera House gradually declined and, suffering the effects of the depression, closed permanently on the eve of World War II.
For more than half a century the Greensboro Opera House sat deserted. In 2003, a group of interested citizens formed Greensboro Opera House, Inc., a 501(c)3, for the purpose of purchasing the Opera House, rehabilitating it, and returning it to a multi-purpose cultural center. Since 2003, Greensboro Opera House, Inc. has purchased the building and paid for it in full. Renovation of the building is in progress.
This building is a contributing property to the Greensboro Historic District that listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). It is located on the southeast corner of Main and Beacon Streets at downtown Greensboro (GPS coordinates 32.704052, -87.594239).
Sources: 1) GreensboroOperaHouse.org, 2) NRHP “Greensboro Historic District” Nomination Form.
Photographs courtesy of RuralSWAlabama.
Note: The Greensboro Opera House is site #13 site on the Greensboro Historic Walking Tour brochure. The Walking Tour brochure contains six routes that include 74 historic Greensboro sites. Brochures are available at a tourism kiosk that’s located on the southeast corner of Main and Beacon Streets at downtown Greensboro.