“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Sacramento in Sacramento County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Eagle Theatre

Eagle Theatre Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, July 1, 2019
1. Eagle Theatre Marker

Eagle Theatre
Est. 1849

This replica is on the site of the original Eagle Theatre. Built in 1849, it was the first structure in California constructed specifically as a theatre.

The Theatre was a canvas covered timber structure with a false front, a large door and a pitched roof. Heavy timbers, possibly from ships abandoned in San Francisco, formed the supporting structure. Canvas, from sails of the same deserted ships, covered the theatre's exterior and also hung inside the building's tin roof. There was room for 350 people on the main floor and 50 people in a balcony that was reached by a steep ladder from outside the building. The first performance in the theatre was Ethiopian Concerts, a musical program. The first play, The Bandit Chief or the Forest Spectre. Balcony box seats were $5.00 and pit seating $3.00. The performance began with an overture played by an orchestra consisting of a bass drum triangle, fiddle and a flageolet (a type of flute.)

Performances included musicals, dramas, comedies, songs, recitations, and pantomimes. There were only ten days of shows before the winter storms
Eagle Theatre and Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, July 1, 2019
2. Eagle Theatre and Marker
hit. Heavy rains in November and December 1849 resulted in a major flood on January 4, 1850. High water inundated Sacramento and destroyed the theatre, as well as other buildings in the area. Following the floods, the Eagle Theatrical Company moved to San Francisco and on January 16, 1850 presented the first dramatic production in that city. The Eagle Theatre, meanwhile, was demolished.

In 1972, an excavation found remains of a wooden plank believed to be a remnant of the Eagle Theatre. This discovery set the stage for today's reproduction, built in 1974.

Contemporary announcement for the theater:
Attention miners!
Presented for your enjoyment ∙ Musical songs ∙ Thrilling adventure! ∙ Comedy & drama (Marker Number 595.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the California Historical Landmark marker series.
Location. 38° 35.023′ N, 121° 30.315′ W. Marker is in Sacramento, California, in Sacramento County. Marker is on Front Street north of J Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 925 Front Street, Sacramento CA 95814, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. New England Seed Store (within shouting distance of this marker); Booth Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Vernon-Brannan House
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(within shouting distance of this marker); Sacramento's Early Waterfront (within shouting distance of this marker); 1854 Flagpole (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); 1854 City Hall and Waterworks (about 400 feet away); The Pony Express (about 400 feet away); B.F. Hastings Bank Building (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sacramento.
Regarding Eagle Theatre. The Eagle Theatre is a California Registered Historical Landmark (No. 595).
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicIndustry & CommerceMan-Made Features

More. Search the internet for Eagle Theatre.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 12, 2020. This page originally submitted on July 7, 2019, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 82 times since then and 7 times this year. Last updated on December 12, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 7, 2019, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.
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