1900 : Calumet Theatre Opens, First Municipally Built Theater

March 20, 2020 all-day

In 1875 the Village of Calumet was the center of the copper mining industry in North America. As the community grew, the Town Hall was built in 1886; and in 1898 it was decided that an opera house was needed to serve the community. At that time the village had a population of approximately 4,000 and more than 30,000 lived within walking distance.

The Theatre opened on March 20, 1900 with a touring Broadway production of Reginald DeKoven’s “The Highwaymen.” Newspapers reported the Calumet Theatre as one of the most elegant theaters in the Midwest.  Built at a time when gaslights were the norm, the electric lights, crimson, gold and ivory color scheme, grills of the box seats, curved balcony and gallery, and the proscenium arch provided one of the finest interior decorations found anywhere on the American continent!

 In the ensuing years, the Theatre’s marquee read like a Who’s Who of American Theatre: Madame Helena Modjeska, Lillian Russell, John Philip Sousa, Sarah Bernhardt, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., Lon Chaney, Sr., Jason Robards, Sr., James O’Neill, William S. Hart, Frank Morgan, Wallace and Noah Beery.

The Calumet Theatre was the first municipally built theater in the country and it remains one of few municipally owned theaters in the country today.

Visit www.calumettheatre.com for schedule of events, ticketing, and more information.

Source :  Calumet Theatre Company website