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Monday, July 25, 2011

Cheboygan Opera House

Three cheers for the local group of people who tirelessly worked to save the lovely Cheboygan Opera House and restore it to its days of glory. The first opera building on this spot  appeared in 1877, but a fire razed it in 1886. Undaunted, the people of the city voted to reconstruct an even better one to the tune of $35,000! Although fire struck again in 1903, they were able to reconstruct the auditorium.  Many well known names have entertained people from their stage like Annie Oakley, William S Hart and Mary Pickford.  In the 1960's amd 70's, no longer in use, it was abandoned and condemned. The Cheboygan Area Arts Council was formed in 1972 and they spearheaded the huge effort to save her.  It reopened in 1984 and under the direction of its executive board, it has been going strong. The first floor of the building is occupied by City Hall, the police, a jail and the fire department. The stage and auditorium take up the upper two floors. The gorgeous horseshoe balcony wraps around the stage. There are many exciting events this summer, including an evening with Jeff Daniels. Thank you, Pam Westover, for the great tour.

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