Twin City Opera House - McConnelsville, OH
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
N 39° 38.935 W 081° 51.204
17S E 426781 N 4389139
Quick Description: Dating from 1890, stories of hauntings at the Twin City Opera House in McConnelsville, Ohio, have included accounts of a custodian who still frequents the catwalks among other spirits. Several investigations have been conducted.
Location: Ohio, United States
Date Posted: 1/20/2009 2:00:52 PM
Waymark Code: WM5M6P
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GEO*Trailblazer 1
Views: 8

Long Description:
The Twin City Opera House was designed by H. C. Lindsay, an architect from Zanesville, Ohio. The building was to be three stories high, and cost about $16,000. The Town Hall would have a tower that would rise 108 feet above the sidewalks of McConnelsville. The third floor would feature a grand ballroom running the complete 63 foot width of the building.

Ground was broken for the project on Monday, October 20, 1889.

Some of H.C. Lindsay’s design principles were considered quite revolutionary. The Opera House’s ground floor auditorium was uncommon in the late 1800s, and it is one of the last remaining theaters of its period with that feature. The stage floor is “raked” or sloped by 3°, to allow the audience’s front rows to see the performers’ feet. The auditorium’s central “echo dome” contributes to the theater’s nearly perfect acoustics. Lines spoken from the rear of the stage can be heard perfectly throughout the room.

The second floor would house the offices for the town government.

The formal opening was held Saturday, May 28, 1892. The opening was to be a grand affair. The program for the evening was the Arion Opera Company’s performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado.” The cast, crew and orchestra numbered nearly one-hundred. All of the eight-hundred seats that were then available in the auditorium were sold. Railway excursions had been arranged from neighboring towns to bring the cultured and the curious.

Over the years, the Opera House has accommodated an endless variety of performers and celebrities. Fire and brimstone evangelist Reverend Billy Sunday, William Jennings Bryan, and Senator Albert Beveridge spoke here. High School commencements and local minstrel shows were staged here. But, most spectacular were the traveling shows. Often arriving by train, the traveling shows brought lavish productions to McConnelsville.

In 1913 the theater was outfitted with a permanent system for showing silent films. A projection booth was partitioned off in the back of the balcony or “gallery” as it was known then, and a screen was added to the stage. The best seats in the house were those in the “Parquet Circle,” which are those in the front rows of the center section on the ground floor. These premium seats could cost as much as 20 cents, while those in the “peanut gallery” were a nickel.

The first sound pictures came to the Opera House in 1930, using the RCA photophone system. This cumbersome system involved synchronizing 78 RPM records with the film. The true “talkies” did not arrive in McConnelsville until 1936. The only time in its history that the Opera House briefly closed its doors to the public, was for the installation of the sound projectors and the renovation of the auditorium. It was at that time the old projection booth was removed from the balcony, and the present booth was created above the second floor mezzanine, and behind the balcony. The theater continues to screen recently released films, as it has done nearly every weekend since 1936.

The Opera House keeps many secrets. Some of the employees and visitors to the Opera House feel the building is home to the "spirits" of the theater's past.

One of the building's secrets is what stood in its footprint before it was built. Local folklore has persisted that the site used to be the home of a hotel ("The Brewster" or "Brewester"). A thorough search of village and county records, newspaper accounts, real estate transfers and county almanacs of the period never mention a Brewster Hotel. In fact, none of the illustrations, engravings or photographs of the village square before the Opera House was built show the Northeast corner, where the Opera House stands.

If you are interested in bringing your paranormal group to investigate our theater please contact Adam Shriver at 740-962-3030. Rates vary.

From the Twin Theater Web Site (visit link)

Some investigations of the paranormal have been done (visit link)

Public access?:
If you are interested in bringing your paranormal group to investigate our theater please contact Adam Shriver at 740-962-3030. Rates vary.


Website about the location and/or story: [Web Link]

Visting hours: Not listed

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