Photo of the play “Queen Esther” presented in 1886 in the Sodus Opera House. Photo courtesy of Bette Bugni
Like many towns in the late 1800’s, Sodus had a Opera House. It was the first of two Opera Houses that would be built in Sodus. In the days before movie theaters, folks could enjoy the arts and be entertained through a live performance on stage. The Sodus Opera House which was located on the east side of Maple Ave across the street from where the library is now. Later this would become the Dutch Reformed Church.
The Sodus Opera House first opened on September 10th, 1878. The announcement of the opening was in the August 21, 1878 issue of the Wayne County Alliance:
“Sodus Opera House”
The Sodus Opera House will be complete in part about the 10th of September, and a dedication will take place the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th, four nights in succession, consisting of dramas, vocal and instrumental music, minstrels and dancing.
The first evening’s entertainment will comprise of a selection from Prof. E. Curtis’ choice, and also conducted by him. He never fails to give perfect satisfaction in his able and efficient managements.
The second evening’s entertainment will consist of a grand vocal and instrumental musical concert under the able management of the well known renowned Prof. Albert Dudd, one of the finest vocalists within our knowledge and one whom is worthy of all the praise and flattery that human nature can well bestow on him.
The third evening’s minstrels will be one of those very pleasing and laughable entertainments that Taylors Cornet Band gave last winter, only an effort will be made to supersede that one in every respect. It will be given by the band and many new and interesting features will be introduced.
The fourth and last night will be a social hop, to which good music and lively times may be expected.
These entertainments will be conducted in first class order, and the highest aim on the part of the proprietors of the Opera House will be to please all who attend. The price of admission will be within the reach of all, and in the meantime bills of full arrangements will be issued.
In 1892, the Opera House put on the play: “Oratorio of Esther – The Death of the Queen”. Thanks to Gary Buerman, we have the Playbill. Click on the link below to see it and use the + and – buttons to zoom in and out:
Over the years a great number of plays were held there including the play “The New Woman” in September 1897. Click the link below to read a review of this humorous play:
In January 1906, the Sodus Record reported that a New Opera House had opened in Sodus and many plays were now being held there:
The Opera House continued to be used for a variety of venues. In May of 1910, the Sodus Record reported that “The May Day festival at the Sodus Opera House was a great success in every way. The children, in winding the May Pole, were under the direction of Mrs C H Bennett.” In August of 1910, the Sodus Record reported “The Democrats held their caucus In the Sodus Opera House.” M M Kelly was elected chairman of the meeting.” In November of 1910, the Sodus Record reported that “An interesting game of basketball was played in the Sodus Opera House when the Delaware Athletic Club of Rochester met the Sodus Athletic Club. The local players were Aumann, Fish, Teall, Provost, Harris and Granger.” In December of 1910, the Sodus Record reported “The Odd Fellows were busy preparing for their fair, which was to be held in the Sodus Opera House. The notice stated that you could get a fine supper for 25 cents and enjoy the dancing afterwards.”
In April of 1912, the Dutch Reformed Church moved into the building and eventually became the Church that we now know it as.