The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Community

November 2, 2013

Big names entertained at Elwood opera houses

One remains today, other destroyed by fire

ELWOOD — The Elwood Opera House on Elwood's South Anderson Street operated from October 1891 to October 1902. During its 11 years of operation it was host to many of the biggest entertainment names of the time in the country.

The Elwood opera houses

The Elwood Opera House was truly a magnificent building and it is still with us. Today, very little remains of its original interior appearance when it opened for business in October 1891. Outside is a somewhat different story.

Located on the southwest corner of South A and South Anderson streets in Elwood, the front side of the three-story building retains near the top the words "OPERA HOUSE" embossed in stone proudly proclaiming for all to see the home of the once-famous theater.

The main entrance was on Anderson Street in the center of the building, as it is today. Immediately beyond the entrance is a stairway climbing to the second floor. Those stairs today, although different in appearance from the 1890s, bear evidence of the wear they incurred over a century ago when they were used by theater goers ascending them to attend the performances at the opera house on the second floor.

One additional unique feature of the Elwood Opera House can be seen on the South A Street side near the rear of the building. A set of double arches appear in the brickwork suggesting that once they had a purpose long since forgotten. An examination of an 1892 opera house drawing reveals the intended purpose.

Since the opera house was located on the second floor, it would have been quite difficult to deliver items such as stage scenery, props, and other large equipage necessary to support the major productions that played there.

To circumvent this obstacle the builder, Gustav V. Kramer, provided for the delivery of such items by creating two openings on the north side underneath the west end of the building directly below the stage area on the second floor. Wagons that brought the production's equipment from the train depot to the opera house could drive underneath the stage area and unload. When empty, the wagons pulled forward a short distance and then made a ninety degree turn and exited the building through another set of arches located on the west or backside of the building. Presumably freight elevators carried the delivered items to the second floor. The procedure was then reversed when the production was done and ready to depart Elwood for the next destination.

Text Only
Community
  • FEA - HB0420 - Cross carrier - JC 2 Crossing over to Christianity

    Tim Hanshew lives by 1 Corinthians 1:18: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” For the past six years, he has shared that power by carrying a large wooden cross throughout Anderson.

    April 19, 2014 4 Photos

  • 2014 Debutante Cotillion participants

    The 11 participants in this year’s Debutante Cotillion Beautillion Militaire were asked a variety of questions, including their influences, words that describe themselves and favorite “words to live by.” The event begins at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at Madison Park Church of God, 6607 Providence Drive. Call Antoinette Davis at 620-2229 for tickets, which are $270 per table or $30 each.

    April 19, 2014

  • FEA - HB0420 - 1008 Location, location, location When imagining the house of a farmer, people don’t tend to envision the home built by George and Nancy Likens. By pouring time and attention into their haven since they originally constructed the house in 1975, they have created an updated and lovely environment in the perfect setting.

    April 19, 2014 6 Photos

  • Timmons, Theresa mug Theresa Timmons: Dinosaurs run amok at mamaw's house I love my new job as a grandparent. It includes playing imaginary tennis with imaginary tennis rackets, making elaborate tents in the living room, and hair-pulling.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEA HB0420 schooltornadodamage Reliving the Orestes tornado of 1922 Spring is a time of new life and hope. A time when grass becomes green and flowers begin to bloom. But with the beauty of the season often comes the arrival of devastating storms. The spring of 1922 was no exception to the residents of Orestes.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Back in the News: April 20 The Herald Bulletin looks back at stories from the Anderson Daily Bulletin and The Anderson Herald newspapers. 10 Years Ago – 2004 April 21 – The Edgewood Baptist Church now is completely inside the town limits of Edgewood. The Town Council made it o

    April 19, 2014

  • 14th annual dog walkathon at Shadyside Park The Madison County Humane Society will host its 14th annual dog walkathon on Saturday, May 3. The walk will be at Shadyside Park between 8 a.m. and noon (rain or shine.

    April 19, 2014

  • Stringer, Maleah mug Maleah Stringer: Volunteers needed to spend time with shelter animals Shelters can be extremely stressful places for many animals, particularly those who have been in a loving home. This is why we want people to come into the shelter and spend time with our animals — to help keep them adoptable so that when the right person comes along they are ready.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Community Briefs: April 20 A compilation of community news items as published in the Sunday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    April 19, 2014

  • Bailey, Jim mug Jim Bailey: Wages were much less back then, but so were prices If you have any questions about what economists mean by inflation, just look at yesterday’s buying power. Those old western movies talked about wages of $1 a day. That wouldn’t even buy a burger at a fast food joint today by the time sales tax is added in.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

Reader Pet Photos


We're looking for your best pet photos! Share your photos of your favorite non-human companions in our new photo gallery. Click here to upload your photos

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin