Thatcher Opera House

Logan, Utah

(? - 1912)

The Thatcher Opera House was built by George W. Thatcher, who had managed the Salt Lake Theater Company.  The 800-seat theater opened in September 1890, occupying the top two floors a new bank building.

"The 50-by-100-foot building was constructed of red brick with white flagstone decorating the windows and dividing the floors. . .  The very elegant theater had horsehair-covered seats, a balcony in the rear which extended down the sides, and box seats. With the electrically lighted entryway and the beautiful carpeted stairway, the Thatcher Opera House began a cultural reign of nearly twenty-two years."[1]

The Thatcher Opera house was used for traveling operas, concerts, plays, vaudeville shows, movies, boxing, and other activities.

In order to compete with a growing number of theaters in the county, the management of the Thatcher Opera House announced in March 1912 that movies would become a major part of the theater's offerings.  Remodeling and reduced fares were also considered.

Shortly after, in the afternoon of 17 April 1912 the Thatcher Opera House was destroyed by fire which started in an adjacent store.  "The loss of the Thatcher Opera House was devastating. The next day bold headlines proclaimed "WORST FIRE IN CACHE VALLEY HISTORY"; in smaller headlines to the right was the story of the sinking of the luxury liner Titanic with over a thousand deaths."[1]

The Thatcher Opera House rarely made a profit, but George Thatcher's intent in building the theater was to provide a cultural gift to the county.

Patience Thatcher later wrote, "There are those who speak of the place with affection; they enjoy telling of the nights of wonder and delight which they spent there; of the scenes of joy and sorrow, laughter and tears that they witnessed there. In their minds it grew larger and more beautiful after it was destroyed, and some were surprised, recently, when they were made to realize how small it really was."[2]

1. "Chapter 10, A Cultural Survey of the County: Arts, Activites, and Athletics", A History of Cache County, by F. Ross Peterson
2. Somers, History of Logan, 142