Stonington Opera House
1 Opera House Lane,
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Previous Names: Russ Music Hall
Located at the end of W. Main Street and School Street in Stonington, on Deer Island. The original Russ Music Hall, built in 1886, was later renamed the Stoningham Opera House and had 1,000 seats. It burnt down in 1910. It was rebuilt on the same site almost immediately thereafter.
The Stoningham Opera House opened in 1912 and has been a multi-purpose building from its inception. Vaudeville, Chautauqua performances, plays, dances, roller skating have all taken place in the building.
It began showing movies in 1914 and talkies from 1929. It showed movies continuously throughout the 1940’s and sparodically thereafter. The building also served as the High School gymnasium until 1947 and the Town Hall until 1951. It showed movies again from 1980 to 1986.
Closed except for special events, it reopened in the 1990’s showing movies (but not on a daily basis) and presents also concerts and live shows. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 16, 1991.
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