Beaver Opera House|
55 East Center Street
The Beaver Opera House was built in 1908 at a cost of $20,000. The board of directors said, "No money or labor will be spared in making this the finest playhouse south of Salt Lake...."
The original design, by Liljenberg and Maeser, called for a “three-story building with dance pavilion on the first floor, auditorium and stage on the second, and third-floor balcony. The hall as constructed was slightly more modest, with the second-story auditorium serving as dance floor, gymnasium, and theater.”
The Beaver Opera House was built of locally quarried stone called pink tuff. “A Classical Revival influence can be seen in its solid-block appearance, huge Roman archways, and massive round columns and rectangular piers flanking the broad entry steps. Atop the columns is an equally monumental entablature, an architectural term for three horizontal layers of stonework (architrave, decorative frieze, and ornate cornice) that support the roof but also seem to cap and tamp the building.”
The Beaver Opera House was used for vaudeville and community events. Entertainers who performed at the theater include Ralph Cloniger, Luke Cosgrave, Shelby Roach, and Walter Christensen. The opera house was later renovated for use as a movie theater. By 1929 the Opera House was unable to compete and was turned over to the Utah National Guard, which used the building until 1955. At some point the interior of the building was gutted.
The Beaver Opera House featured vaudeville for many years, but was converted for movies in 1914. In 1929 the theater was sold to the National Guard, which used it until 1955.
The Beaver Opera House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
1. "Chapter 6 Entrance into the Twentieth Century 1900-1920", A History of Beaver County, Martha Sonntag Bradley
2. "Beaver Opera House Promotors Thought Big", The History Blazer, June 1996, Utah State History CD-ROM
3. The Weekly Press, 20 November 1914.
4. "UTAH - Beaver County", www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com, December 2005