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Catch a Show at the Earlville Opera House in Central NY

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2022-03-23 13:25:00

If you’re looking for a new way to experience history, arts and culture in Upstate New York, consider a trip off the beaten path to the Earlville Opera House. Located in Earlville (about an hour from Syracuse, an hour from Cooperstown, and 45 minutes from Utica), this historic landmark is one of the only remaining opera houses of its kind, offering a look back through history with modern events as well.  
The opera house has been a Central New York fixture since 1892, with a rich history of bringing entertainment to the people of Earlville as well as bringing the community together. From the time it was established until 1922, the Earlville Opera House was the place to go to enjoy the best live entertainment of the time, including vaudeville acts, three penny operas and traveling medicine shows.

With the advent of silent movies, it became the place to go to witness the next great Charlie Chaplin film, and provided a community meeting place, offering enough space to host town meetings, celebrations and other community events; it then showed motion pictures until the 1950s, when it closed down. It sat silent for nearly two decades, until plans began to form in the 1970s to tear it down. Instead, the community came together, forming Earlville Opera House Inc., a not-for-profit, volunteer-based community organization with the mission of celebrating and restoring the history of the opera house while honoring the mission it’s had all along: to bring the best quality arts and entertainment to the area community. It was a success: in 2022, the Opera House is celebrating 50 years as an incorporated nonprofit arts center.

Today, the Earlville Opera House is the only one of its kind in the area that’s still used as an opera house, welcoming the community and its visitors to enjoy and appreciate the arts in a variety of forms. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and remains largely as it was during its heyday, with much of its original 1800s-era décor and charm intact.

The opera house is a brilliant example of turn-of-the-century architecture, with ornate ceilings and other decorative touches from that era that make it an excellent example of this region’s architectural history. The property features three art galleries, which host a rotating list of exhibits throughout the year, plus a gift shop and a café, along with the Historic Landmark Theater, which hosts musical and theatrical performances throughout the year.

The opera house still functions as a community fixture, and it hosts a series of special events and shows throughout the year in addition to the long list of performances on its schedule. From arts and crafts shows to community afternoon teas to children’s events and community events, the opera house is a popular meeting spot for locals and visitors to come together to enjoy and embrace the arts in Earlville. Make sure to check the hours and performance schedule, as well as up-to-date COVID policies, on the Earlville Opera House website to plan your trip in time for a show you want to see!

Exterior photo credit Earlville Opera House Arts Center facebook page
Theater view photo credit Earlville Opera House
Art gallery photo credit Earlville Opera House
Earlville Opera House gift shop photo credit Earlville Opera House Arts Center facebook

posted at: 2022-03-23 13:25:00, last updated: 2022-03-23 14:34:41

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