July 4th Open House Event was a Success!
The Mitchell Opera House opened on July 4, 2015 after extensive renovations by Hoosier Uplands Economic Development Corporation. The historic Mitchell Opera House was built in 1906 and was originally County Hall when it first opened. In 1908 the building became an Opera House and was used for live Vaudeville acts, first run movies, class plays, and more. In 1912 Cora Salisbury played the piano at the Mitchell Opera House accompanied by a young man on the violin named Ben Kubelsky. That young man was the 18 year old who would later change his name to Jack Benny.
In 1930, the entertainment venue stopped hosting shows and became a storage facility for fire trucks and equipment. In the 1950’s, part of the building was used as a “Teen Canteen” for youth gatherings, and thereafter became Mitchell City Hall from the 1960’s until 1981. At that point, the Hartzell family took the initiative to re-open the Opera House and had occasional shows from 1985 to 2012. In the fall of 2014, the City of Mitchell deeded the property to Hoosier Uplands for renovations and 256 days later, the venue re-opened with a new future.
The July 4th event resulted in an amazing turn out. The seating capacity of the venue is 352 and the house was packed. The event showcased the venue through a historic video presentation and a performance by the Lick Creek Band. Shows are scheduled at the venue every Saturday night and are currently booked through January 2016. The renovations have brought life to the Mitchell Opera House and we are looking forward to a new future for this historic venue.