South Carolina Picture Project

Sumter Opera House – Sumter, South Carolina


South Carolina  |  SC Picture Project  |  Sumter County Photos  |  Sumter Opera House



This historic opera house, which doubles as city hall, is the pride of downtown Sumter. Built between 1893 and 1895, it is the second opera house to stand on this site. The first was lost to fire in 1892. In 1936 the opera house was converted into a movie theater and operated as such until 1982. That year, the movie theater closed, and the building sat vacant until the City of Sumter purchased it in 1984. The city then completed renovations of the historic building in 1987 to once again use as a city hall as well as an opera house.

Sumter Opera House

Larry Gleason of Aiken, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Well over a century after it was built, the Romanesque opera house still plays an integral role in Sumter. While municipal offices continue to occupy much of the building – including city council’s chambers – a first-floor auditorium fills the hall with the sounds of live performances. Today musicals, plays, and concerts are well-attended at the Sumter Opera House, many of which are free to the public.

Sumter Opera House Night

Pete Lawrence of Sumter, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Below is an historical image of the opera house and city hall in 1907. A few years earlier in 1888 Belva Ann Lockwood delivered two lectures from the original opera house. Lockwood, an attorney, was the first woman admitted to the United States Supreme Court bar in 1876. She argued her first case before the Supreme Court the following year. In 1884 she became the first woman to launch a presidential campaign. She ran again in 1888, the same year she visited Sumter.

Sumter Opera House Historic

Courtesy of Wilson McElveen of Columbia, 1907 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Sumter Opera House Historical

Courtesy of Wilson McElveen of Columbia, 1940 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The Sumter Opera House is listed in the National Register as part of the Sumter Historic District:

Originally called Sumterville, the town was the county seat of Sumter District and later Sumter County. A settlement by 1785, Sumterville was named after General Thomas Sumter, South Carolina Revolutionary war hero. In 1798, the village was selected for the site of the courthouse of old Sumter District. With no access to waterway or railroad, development was slow until the Camden branch of the South Carolina Railroad extended into the town in 1843. Incorporated in 1845, Sumterville’s name was eventually changed to Sumter. The town was officially chartered in 1871. Sumter’s political, commercial, and cultural development is reflected in the architecture of the central business district that spans a time period from 1828 to the present. Many of the buildings in the original commercial district date from 1880 to 1912 and are typical of turn-of-the-century commercial buildings, using materials such as pressed tin, limestone, and brick. Detail work of buildings includes arches, columns, decorative brickwork and dentil work.

Reflections on the Sumter Opera House


Contributor Larry Gleason, who took the photo at the top of the page, notes that it was an especially difficult shot. He explains: “It is not an easy building to photograph because of height on a narrow street.” We love how this picture captures not only the Opera House, but also the surrounding stores and street, creating a special glimpse of life in downtown Sumter!

Add your own reflections here.



Sumter Opera House Info


Address: 21 North Main Street, Sumter, SC 29150
GPS Coordinates: 33.921076,-80.341417
Website: http://www.sumtersc.gov/sumter-opera-house.aspx

Sumter Opera House Map



Sumter Opera House – Add Info and More Photos


The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Sumter Opera House, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!


If You Don't Have a Facebook Account, Please Comment Below




One Comment about Sumter Opera House

AudreyNo Gravatar says:
August 24th, 2014 at 10:00 am

I have never been to the opera house, but I am going to make it a point to visit the house and show.





Related Pages


Old Holy Cross Sullivan's Island
Fort Moultrie Post Chapel
Sullivan's Island


Jericho School
Jericho School
Cottageville


Winyah Indigo Society Hall

Segars Mill
Segars Mill
Hartsville


Hampton Depot
Hampton
Hampton


Ruby Baptist Church

Central Roller Mills

Coogler-Meetze House

Chester Little Theater




SC PICTURE PROJECT

Join Us on Facebook
Our 5 Goals
Our Contributors
Add Info
Add Pictures
Search for Pictures
Missing Landmarks

SC TOWNS & LANDMARKS

Abbeville ACE Basin Aiken Allendale Anderson Awendaw Bamberg Barns & Farms Barnwell Beaches Beaufort Beech Island Belton Bennettsville Bishopville Blackville Bluffton Bridges Bygone Landmarks Camden Carnegie Libraries Cemeteries Charleston Charleston Navy Base Cheraw Chester Churches Clemson Clinton Clio Colleges Columbia Conway Courthouses Darlington Denmark Dillon Donalds Easley Edgefield Edisto Elloree Fairfax Florence Folly Beach Forests and Nature Preserves Gaffney Garden City Beach Georgetown Glenn Springs Graniteville Greeleyville Greenville Greenwood Greer Hamburg Hampton Hartsville Hemingway Hilton Head Historical Photos Historic Houses Honea Path Hopkins Hunting Island Isle of Palms Jails James Island Johns Island Johnsonville Johnston Kiawah Island Kingstree Lake City Lake Marion Lakes Lancaster Landrum Latta Laurens Lexington Libraries Lighthouses Little River Manning Marion McClellanville McCormick Military Mills Moncks Corner Mountains Mount Carmel Mount Pleasant Mullins Murrells Inlet Myrtle Beach National Register Newberry Ninety Six North Augusta North Charleston North Myrtle Beach Orangeburg Parks Pawleys Island Pendleton Pickens Piers Pinopolis Plantations Port Royal Post Offices Ravenel Restaurants Ridgeway Rivers Roadside Oddities Robert Mills Rock Hill Rockville Rosenwald Schools Salters Saluda Savannah River Site SC Artists SC Heroes of the Alamo Schools Seneca Shrimp Boats Society Hill Spartanburg Sports Springs St. George St. Helena Island St. Matthews Stores Sullivan's Island Summerton Summerville Sumter Synagogues Town Clocks Trains & Depots Trees Trenton Turbeville Ulmer Union Wadmalaw Island Walhalla Walterboro Waterfalls Water Towers West Columbia Westminster Winnsboro Yemassee York

© 2016 SCIWAY.net, LLC All rights reserved.