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Big Time Shows All Played At Our Opera House

Big Time Shows All Played At Our Opera House

Submitted by: Bob Chada

© Guthrie Register-News, Sunday, April 17, 1955

Big Time Shows All Played At Our Opera House
Guthrie, as the territorial capital of Oklahoma, had the first opera house and hotel west of Kansas city, Mo., and because of the city's prominence attracted many of the premier stage stars of the late '90's.
The hotel, now the Royal hotel in the 100 block on E. Harrison-av. was the scene of many bitter political battles as well as many brilliant social activities of the city's elite.
Including the hotel and opera house the frontage was 120 feet with both buildings being three stories high and built of massive sandstone quarried near Guthrie.
The stage and auditorium of the opera house was on the ground floor and has four exits. The stage was forty by sixty feet with the prosenium opening being 35 feet.
There were ten private boxes with the seating capacity of both balcony and main floor being 1,200.
Seats were upholstered in green plush and the entire theatre was laid with Brussel carpets. More than 100 pieces of scenery was painted by A. F. Werve, famous early day artist of Kansas City, Mo.
Although its stage attracted the stars of that era, another man working as lowly helper later rose to world-wide fame. He was the "Man With A Thousand Faces." Lon Chaney. Chaney worked in Guthrie for about six months.
Both businesses were owned and managed by James M. Brooks.

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Updated: Wednesday, 06-Aug-2008 22:04:42 CDT

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