Happy Birthday, Newberry Opera House!

Tribute Tuesdays—Coming HOME (Honoring Outstanding Musical Entertainment)

 The Newberry Opera House has a proud history dating back to 1881 when the construction of the Victorian Civic Gothic style building was completed.  There were only 2,342 citizens in Newberry at that time; but through their vision, foresight, and generosity, they gifted generations to come with an iconic community building that would originally house city offices, jail cells, fire wagons, and a second floor performance hall. The building was ceremoniously dedicated on February 20, 1882; and thus, began the tradition of not only bringing in live entertainment, but hosting community and College events.  The performance hall later was transformed into a movie theater, but then suffered over 50 years of decline.

With notable Newberry citizens at the helm and with the continued foresight of the citizens of Newberry, the Opera House was renovated some twenty years ago and rose like the phoenix from the ashes to return to service as a vibrant performing arts center.  Using the initial dedication date, on February 20, 1998, the Newberry Opera House was re-dedicated and has since successfully maintained its reputation as the “Entertainment Center of the Midlands.”

Today that same building stands as a testament to the commitment for the arts and the desire for historic preservation that truly makes both the City and County of Newberry a cherished place to call HOME.

Birthday Party - Free fun

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | Anniversary Tours Throughout The Day | Special Broadcast by AM1240 WKDK | Presentation & CupCake Cutting at 5:00 P.M.
The Community is invited to a special event 20 years to the day from the rededication  of the Newberry Opera House as a Performing Arts Center. This birthday party will include Anniversary Tours, a short Anniversary video, a poetry reading, a birthday cake, kids activities in the lobby, and even a birthday party wish list.  Click here to learn more.

free kids activities 

As part of the February 20th Celebration, the Newberry Opera House Guild will be hosting FREE kids activities in the lobby from 3:00 - 4:45 P.M. Don't forget to register to win prizes including a Family 4 Pack to Lightwire Theatre's Moon Mouse production. Some of the activities that will be going might include:

  • Place the Gar on the Tower - Can you put the gar fish on the top of the tower blindfolded?
  • Writing Station--Why do you think the Gar fish was chosen to be on top of the Tower?
  • Coloring station--The bricks of the Opera House came from three different brick yards and are all different colors. What color brick would you have used?
  • Trivia for kids and adults--How Much Do You Know About the Opera House and Those Who Have Performed Her?

WKDK Radio Take Over

The Newberry Opera House will do a Take Over of local station WKDK on February 20 in honor of our Anniversary. Listen in for Newberry Opera House alums who have performed on our stage from 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.  Join us live in the lobby of the Opera House from 9:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. Click here to listen live online.

Anniversary tours

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at 10:00 A.M., 12:00 P.M., 2:00 P.M., 4:00 P.M., 6:00 P.M. | First 50 People To Take the Anniversary Tour Receive a Free Opera House Print
February 24, March 3, 10, 17 Saturdays @ 10:00 A.M.

Why did Willie Nelson sneak into the Opera House one night? What is our grand piano's connection to The White House? Why is there a literally a gap between the original building and the addition? Come learn more about the last 20 years that the Opera House has spent as a performing arts center.  Tour goodie bags will be given out while supplies last. Click here to learn more.

poetry contest

Application Deadline: Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 6:00 P.M.
Winners Poetry Reading as Part of Celebration: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

One hundred and thirty-six years ago, a man named Mr. C. G. Jaeger read his 55 line eloquently written poem entitled “Dedication Ode” during the ceremony in which the Newberry Opera House was dedicated.  In honor of that original poem, the Opera House is sponsoring a poetry contest. The winners in each category from elementary to adult will receive a $50 prize plus have the honor of reading their poem at the birthday event February 20. Click here to learn more.

tribute tuesdays

Tuesday Evening February 27, 2018  NCSD Elementary Schools’ Honor Choruses Performances—6:30 PM

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Tuesday Evening March 6, 2018
      NCSD Middle and High Schools’ Honor Choruses and County Honor Band Performances--6:30 PM

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Tuesday Evening March 13, 2018     Newberry College’s Music Department Performances—6:30 PM

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Tuesday Evening  March 20, 2018     The Sounds of Newberry  (Showcasing Select Newberry Talent) -7:00 PM

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Submission Deadline for Community Sounds of Newberry Showcase Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 5:00 P.M. 
Selected artist will be featured in The Newberry Magazine and win the chance to perform on the Opera House stage in the final Tribute Tuesday performance night. Click here to learn more.

To commemorate the momentous occasion of two decades of live entertainment in a restored and historic theater, the Foundation Board of the Newberry Opera House and the Newberry Opera House Guild are hosting a birthday party followed by a month-long celebration showcasing Newberry’s musical talent.  With a conscious decision to spotlight local talent and to engage local audiences, the anniversary celebration is being designed to memorialize the gift of the original Newberrians who first built and dedicated the Newberry Opera House and to honor those citizens who came together to return her to the service of the Arts and the Community 20 seasons ago.  Tickets for each of the four evenings of musical performances will be General Admission and will be $5 for children and $10 for adults. 

birthday present wish list

In conjunction with the festivities and in honor of such a special anniversary or birthday, a wish list has been created.  Executive Director, Molly Fortune, and her staff were asked to create such a list so that those who wish to contribute in celebration of this landmark occasion could do so.  After 20 years, highly utilized items like stackable chairs, tables, and tablecloths need replacing.  Certain interior areas need repainting, and the dressing rooms need a facelift.  Benches would greatly enhance the Lobby area, and a refurbished kitchen by the bar and the bar area itself (with additional refrigerated coolers) would be most appreciated.  Plumbing updates with improved faucets in the bathrooms are items of concern.  A supply of LCD bulbs would be most beneficial, as would a new projector to accommodate the onset of technology additions to performances.  Click here to learn more.

The Newberry Opera House is a jewel whose value transcends time.  Her tower proudly symbolizes a municipality comprised of citizens whose commitment to the arts, the education of the arts, and to the quality of life makes a profound statement of progressive and yet historic achievement.  Bringing an enhancement of life that introduces us to a world of cultures, musical styles, and engaging entertainment, the Newberry Opera House is a gift in itself.  At this special time in the history of this historic and award winning performing arts center, we have the opportunity to give back to her as we continue to make her a gift to the generations to come.  “Welcome HOME to the Newberry Opera House.  Whether attending one of the Tribute Tuesdays or making a contribution towards those items identified on the wish list, you are invited to be part of her history. 

This is a celebration for the people and by the people of Newberry—at HOME here in Newberry where welcoming arms embrace those who have lived here all their lives and those who come “HOME” by choice.