History

The Greensboro Opera House was built in 1903 on the site of an earlier opera house.  The original, built in the 1890′s, had burned the preceding year. Although it was grand in design for a small town like Greensboro, the Greensboro Opera House was typical of opera houses built across the nation at that period–a three story building with retail stores on the ground floor and theater and offices on the second and third.

Following its construction the Greensboro Opera House served as a multi-purpose cultural facility for visiting theater groups, local drama, concerts, lectures, town meetings, and dances. With the advent of motion pictures, it was used as the first movie theater until a “real” movie theater was built. Although it continued for some years as a meeting place and performing arts center, the Greensboro Opera House gradually declined and, suffering the effects of the depression, closed permanently on the eve of World War II.

For more than half a century the Greensboro Opera House sat deserted and mostly forgotten.  This was especially due to the fact that the stairway connecting the theater to the sidewalk was removed in the mid-twentieth century.  Many dreamed of restoring the Greensboro Opera House, and in 2003, a group of interested citizens formed Greensboro Opera House, Inc., a 501(c)3, for the purpose of purchasing the Opera House, rehabilitating it, and returning it to a multi-purpose cultural center.

Since 2003 Greensboro Opera House, Inc. has purchased the building and paid for it in full. Money has been raised from local citizens and other private individuals with ties to the community. Greensboro Opera House Inc. has received two matching grants from The Alabama State Council on the Arts. The first grant was for Phase I design and the second grant was for Phase II. Phase I which calls for the rehabilitation of the ground floor and the facade, is currently underway.

Greensboro Opera House, Inc. hopes to have the ground floor in use as a facility for art exhibitions, receptions, meetings, and in-the-round performances by early 2013. Meanwhile, architectural designs are being drawn up for the Phase II restoration of the theater itself.

.