South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Newberry Opera House, Newberry County (Boyce & Nance Sts., Newberry)
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Located on a lot where John Leavell, among others, operated a tavern in the town’s earlier years, the ca. 1881 Newberry Opera House became a popular cultural center from the time of its dedication in 1882. Presented at the opera house were stage dramas, operas and operettas, minstrel shows, musical comedies and similar attractions which toured the country and were major features of the town’s cultural and social life. With the advent of movies, and the building of larger auditoriums in the city, the Opera House was used exclusively as a movie theater. The Newberry Opera House building is Romanesque Revival in design, with a tall steeple and a wide gable on the front side. Its bricks were handmade in Newberry. The parcade is sloping. The balcony is wide and also sloping. The building was, “in all likelihood, designed out of a pattern book, and shows the influence of Philadelphia architect Frank Furness.” Located on Newberry’s central square, the old building was the hub of cultural and civic activities for many years. Listed in the National Register December 2, 1969.

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