Newberry Opera House: Performing Arts Center
The historic Newberry Opera House is a dramatic, French Gothic inspired structure located in downtown Newberry. The massive clock tower has been the centerpiece of the city for nearly 130 years. When the opera house was built in 1881, it was outfitted with all the latest in theater equipment and quickly became known as the "Entertainment Center of the Midlands," attracting some of the nations best performers . . . acting troupes from New York, minstrels and variety shows, famous singers, lecturers, mind readers, and magicians. The hall was also used for community events, such as meetings, dances, and college commencement exercises. When "moving pictures" came on the scene in the early 1900s, the Newberry Opera House showed them, and in the 1920s was remodeled as a movie theater.
In 1952, the opera house closed as a movie theater, and by the late 1950s there was talk of tearing it down. But thanks to public outcry and the efforts of the Newberry Historical Society, the Newberry Opera House was preserved. In 1996, the town undertook an extensive renovation of the building that added 10,000 square feet of space and transformed it, once again, into a state-of-the-art performance facility. The opera house now hosts dozens of musical performances each year in genres ranging from classical to gospel, bluegrass to beach music.
Visit the Newberry Opera House website to see what's playing this season and for ticket information.