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St. George in Washington County, Utah — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

St. George Social Hall “Opera House”

 
 
St. George Social Hall "Opera House" Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dawn Bowen, June 21, 2007
1. St. George Social Hall "Opera House" Marker
Inscription.  At a time of colonization, colonizors of the Dixie Cotton Mission were struggling to survive, their leaders planned a higher priority on culture. The Mormon Prophet, Joseph Smith, taught that “man is that he might have joy.” His successor Brigham Young interpreted this “joy” to be participation in and enjoyment of the cultural arts. The first locally produced drama was presented in a bowery made of tumble weed just 9 months after the city’s birth. The historical social hall, or Opera House, was built in 1875 at the corner of Main and Diagonal Street, one block north of here. It began as a wine cellar built by Gardners Club where sacramental wine was stored. A 23' x 56' room was built above the collar which became the stage and the wings secction, and a 35' x 50' addition to the west became the audience seating area. For nearly 50 years this was the center of social and cultural life in Dixie.

The building featured a mechanized floor which could be lowered several inches at the east end, allowing everyone an unobstructed view of the stage, with a seating capacity of 400, this was a delightful venue for local
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dramatic club as well as outside players. Opera and other musical entertainment were held there, as well as dances on the moveable floor.

During the early part of this century the stage of St. George Academy, as well as movie theatres, began to replace the activities of the Opera House. The building was eventually sold to U & I Sugar Co. and used as offices and storage for sugar beet seed.

Presently, the building is being restored as the central feature of the Pioneer Center for Arts.
 
Erected 1994 by Sons of Utah Pioneers.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Entertainment. In addition, it is included in the Sons of Utah Pioneers series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1875.
 
Location. 37° 6.575′ N, 113° 34.981′ W. Marker is in St. George, Utah, in Washington County. Marker is on St. George Boulevard. It is in park next to Zion’s Bank. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 36 E St George Boulevard, Saint George UT 84770, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gardeners’ Club Hall (here, next to this marker); Pioneer Courthouse (a few steps from this marker); Brigham Young Home (a few steps from this marker); And the Desert Shall Blossom (a few steps from this
Opera House at 47 E 200 North image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dawn Bowen, June 21, 2007
2. Opera House at 47 E 200 North
marker); Erastus Snow's Big House (a few steps from this marker); The Woodward School (a few steps from this marker); Dixie Academy (within shouting distance of this marker); St. George Tabernacle (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. George.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 27, 2007, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,042 times since then and 88 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 27, 2007, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 13, 2024