Lodgepole Opera House

Oberfelder Street & Front Street,
Lodgepole, NE 69149

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Lodgepole Opera House

Originally the opera house shared its block with the hotel and bank, but now the building stands isolated, surrounded by empty lots. Constructed in 1911 by Frank Isenberger as the upper floor of a garage, the cement block, two-story one part commercial block structure measures 46' x 70' and has a barn-style pitched tin roof and a false front scalloped with pressed tin shingles. Lodgepole Opera House painted in huge letters, remains visible on the false front above the windows. Access to the second-floor theatre is through a single door and narrow stair on the south end of the building front . A small ticket window is located immediately inside this door on the right; the ticket office was in the garage.

The auditorium is 45' wide and 58' long from the back windows to the edge of the stage. Low ceilings preclude a balcony, but a small, raised, enclosed wooden projection booth at the rear attests to the theatre’s past use for motion pictures. Doors on either side of the stage give access to the backstage area which is rather small. The ornate tin ceiling continues down the entire wall to the last angle of the pitched roof, ending about chest height, The simple wooden proscenium arch was painted blue, a color scheme continued on the woodwork of the doors to backstage and on the wainscoting below the 4' high stage, giving the impression that this opera house in its heyday was a cheerful, fun place to go.

Movies were no longer shown at the opera house in 1933. The building was listed on the NRHP #91000838 in 1988.

Contributed by Chris1982
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