Demopolis in Marengo County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
The Demopolis Opera House / Lillian Hellman And
The Little Foxes
The Demopolis Opera House
In 1876, the town of Demopolis leased the former Presbyterian Church, a classic brick structure built in 1843 and occupied by federal troops during Reconstruction, to the Demopolis Opera Association. The association revitalized the building as a theater for live performances and civic lectures. Though heavily dependent upon local talent, the Opera House also featured professional actors and entertainers from places such as New York and New Orleans until its doors closed in 1902. Minstrel shows were frequent, popular attractions. Wealthy businessman Leonard Newhouse served the association as its secretary. He hand his wife Sophia Marx were the grandparents of playwright Lillian Hellman.
Lillian Hellman and The Little Foxes
Playwright Lillian Hellman (1905-1984) enjoyed her greatest stage triumph with The Little Foxes, which opened in New York on February 15, 1939, with Alabama actress Tallulah Bankhead in the lead role. Hellman’s writings and personal history suggest her affluent Marx relatives from Demopolis were models for the fictional Hubbard family in Foxes. The play’s mansion “Lionnet” bears strong resemblance to the stately Lyon family homes (Bluff Hall and Lyon Hall) in Demopolis. Hellman wrote the screenplay for the
Erected 2003 by Alabama Historical Association.
Location. 32° 31.092′ N, 87° 50.267′ W. Marker is in Demopolis, Alabama, in Marengo County. Marker is at the intersection of North Walnut Avenue and W. Capitol Street on North Walnut Avenue. Touch for map. Marker located next to Rooster Hall, part of the City Hall complex. Marker is at or near this postal address: 211 North Walnut Avenue, Demopolis AL 36732, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Marengo County Confederate Monument (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Alabama Cattlemen’s Association (about 500 feet away); First Presbyterian Church (about 500 feet away); The Demopolis Theater District (about 600 feet away); Trinity Episcopal Church (about 600 feet away); Temple B’Nai Jeshurun (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bluff Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away); White Bluff (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Demopolis.
Categories. • Entertainment • Notable Buildings • Notable Persons •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 15, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 941 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on November 15, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.