Wirt's Opera House

105 W. Wall Street,
Harrisonville, MO 64701

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Additional Info

Functions: Housing

Previous Names: Briles Theatre

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No theaters found within 30 miles

Built in 1907, the Opera House began showing films for free in 1914 after the theater closed. The name at this point may have been the Briles Theatre. Films continued until around 1915, when a new theater was opened. Films may have been offered later, but the 1918 Sanborn makes no mention of movies.

The Opera House was in the second story, with two storefronts below. The stage was deep, and curved out toward the front. The 1918 map also shows an ‘Airdome’ located in the lot to the west. There was quite a substantial metal-clad wooden stage structure at the rear of the lot. Scenery is included, which indicates that this was at least partially intended for live performances. A wooden office was located at the front of the lot, and a large metal-clad wooden covered staircase led from it up to the second floor of the opera house. It is possible this was used as the main entry.

It is unclear when the Opera House closed, or if it showed movies after 1915. The building still exists as apartments, but the fa├žade was replaced around 1940. The lot where the airdome was is vacant.

Contributed by Seth Gaines
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