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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Virginia City in Storey County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Piperís Opera House

 
 
Piperís Opera House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, August 24, 2009
1. Piperís Opera House Marker
Inscription. This building, the most magnificent vintage theater in the West, was erected by John Piper in 1885. Third in a succession of theatres, which he operated on the Comstock, Piperís Opera House, with its original scenery, raked stage, and elegant proscenium boxes, is a remarkable survivor of a colorful era in American theatrical history. Many popular nineteenth-century touring stars and concert artists appeared here.
State Historic Marker No. 236
Division of Historic Preservation and Archeology
Louise Z. Driggs

 
Erected by Division of Historic Preservation and Archeology - Louise Z. Driggs. (Marker Number 236.)
 
Location. 39° 18.66′ N, 119° 39.008′ W. Marker is in Virginia City, Nevada, in Storey County. Marker is on B Street near Union Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 12 North B Street, Virginia City NV 89440, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Piperís Opera House (here, next to this marker); The Storey County Jail (within shouting distance of this marker); 601's (within shouting distance
Piperís Opera House image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, August 24, 2009
2. Piperís Opera House
Marker is mounted on the far left pillar at the front of the building.
of this marker); Storey County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Chinatown (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of International Hotels (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Miners Union Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); The Glory of Solidarity and Fraternity (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Virginia City.
 
Also see . . .
1. Virginia City – Then and Now. The Piperís Opera House (Submitted on August 28, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.) 

2. Piperís Opera House. (Submitted on August 28, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.)
 
Additional comments.
1. Piper's Opera House - National Register of Historic Places NRIS Number: 97000217
Significance:
Piper's Opera House is one of the birthplaces of American stage in the west. The first large Virginia City theatre was Topliffe's on C Street, built in 1862. Tom Maguire's D Street Theatre followed the next year, and it was purchased
Piperís Opera House Viewed From C Street image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, August 24, 2009
3. Piperís Opera House Viewed From C Street
by John Piper in 1868. Destroyed by fire in 1875, he rebuilt on B Street. This second theatre opened on January 8, 1878. The dress circle, parquet, and gallery seated 900. It, too, burned following a masked ball, on February 13, 1883. Opening in 1885, the third has muslin surfaced walls, once wallpapered, a spring supported floor, and a rake stage. Elizabethan strapwork designs decorate the proscenium arch, highlighted with George Piper's portrait of William Shakespeare. Two-tiered boxes flank the stage and a suspended balcony surrounds the parquet. Performers appearing at Piper's included Maude Adams, Lily Langtry, Edwin Booth, Henry Ward Beecher, Joseph Jefferson, Helen Modjeska, Enrico Caruso, Lillian Russell, E.H. Southern, Houdini, Marie Dressler, Mark Twain, May Robson, Fay Templeton, Lola Montez. David Belasco was stage manager in the early years of his career. Productions ranged from Shakespeare, with "Hamlet" most often presented, to ballet, minstrel shows, musicals and melodramas. Political and social meetings held in Piper's include raffles, lectures, political debates, and religious services. Other entertainment filling the hall in the 19th century were dances, bearfights, and wrestling matches. Between 1907 and its closing in 1929, movies, roller skating and basketball games were held in the theatre.
    — Submitted
Piperís Opera House Marker image. Click for more information.
By National Park Service, San Francisco, circa 1939
4. Piperís Opera House Marker
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)
HABS NEV,15-VIRG,17-1
Click for more information.
August 28, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.

 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicLandmarksNotable BuildingsNotable Places
 
Piper's Opera House image. Click for full size.
By Robert W. Kerrigan, Photographer, circa March 1937
5. Piper's Opera House
Historic American Buildings Survey, (Library of Congress)
HABS NEV,15-VIRG,17-
Piperís Opera House and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, August 24, 2009
6. Piperís Opera House and Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 28, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 998 times since then and 38 times this year. Last updated on October 25, 2010, by Bryan R. Bauer of Kearns, Ut 84118. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 28, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.
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