Corona Opera House

650 S. Main Street,
Corona, CA 92882

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Phillips Opera House

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Phillips Opera House was opened May 18, 1900, by Judge Austin Phillips in the basement of the Southern Hotel and by November 1901 the Corona Courier referred to it as the Corona Opera House. On October 28, 1905, the Los Angeles Herald reported a city official called the opera house a menace to public safety and a fire trap, recommending three new exits.

The opera house was generally a town meeting place, holding graduation ceremonies even convening a jury trial. Never one to advertise, the first-run movies in Corona were provided by La Corona Theatre and Majestic Theatre. However, in 1915 a Corona Opera House listing appeared in the Herald for the film serial “Exploits Of Elaine”, starring Pearl White.

On May 10, 1918, the Corona Courier reported the old opera house was being converted to a warehouse. Mentioned from time to time in the news, in 1950 the Daily Independent reported what was left of the opera house was still there, but the entrance was boarded up. On April 27, 1957, a response by a subscriber remembered the opera house and the entrance was through a paved alley that runs west from Main Street between Sixth Street and Seventh Street.

During urban renewal, demolition of the hotel at 608 S. Main Street, began on January 15, 1971. The Corona Public Library, which was opened on the site of the former Southern Hotel in September 1971, has two photographs of the hotel, one of which shows its January 1971 demolition.

Contributed by Ron Pierce
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