Theatre History

One of the first opera’s held was Herald Nelson’s play Faust, which required the centre of the stage to be cut out and then mechanically raised and lowered.  Flames shot up through the opening in the floor while the Devil was raised up and down behind a rock on the stage.  Arthurs’ son Walter painted scenery sets for many of these early shows, and some of these fragile rolls can still be found in the basement.

These early years were also a time when formal balls where held.  Ladies in splendid ball gowns and gentlemen who wore white gloves or carried handkerchiefs would fill the floor.  Prior to WWI when travelling movie shows would come to town a temporary cage suspended in the air was built off the gallery to house a projector.  In later years when the Opera House became a true movie house with fixed seating a projection room was built at the back of the gallery.

In 1938, as the opera era closed, the building was sold to Mr. Baldwin and used for silent pictures.  He built a projection room and installed new talkie equipment.  Owners over the years have included Ted Williams, The Hatton family, Gordon Wilson Sparky Clark, Helene & Greg Stewart and now finally community owned and operated.  The reel to reel carbon arc rod projectors were installed under Sparky Clarks ownership and used up until the community purchased the theatre in February 2014. Along with many owners came many names for the theatre, The Opera House, the Auditorium, The Gary, The Nite Hawk and now The Grand Theatre.  What has remained the same is the passion of the people who have attended a movie, a concert, a dance….