National Register of Historic Places in Lincoln County

National Register #84002074: Brown's Hall-Thompson's Opera House in Pioche, Nevada 16 July 2008
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National Register #84002074
Brown's Hall-Thompson's Opera House
Main Street
Built 1873

Thompson's Opera House is a typical, western boom town, commercial building.

Throughout the 19th century, the basic plan of the commercial building remained fairly constant. They were rectangular structures of two or three stories. Facades were divided horizontally into two layers with a storefront level and upper level and vertically divided into bays, with double doors at the first floor level. Ornamentation was predominately restricted to the roofline and the projecting front porch with balcony.

Brown's Hall was erected by Aleck Brown in September of 1873 to meet Pioche's growing need for a suitable place to hold drama presentations, socials, fraternal club meetings, public dances, fund raising affairs, and political rallies. Opening night boasted the presentation of the stage play "Pygmalion and Galatia". Lead parts were played by professionals from San Francisco.

Thompson's Opera House is the oldest of three 19th century opera houses remaining in Nevada. The Eureka Theater in Eureka, Nevada, dates from 1879, while Piper's Opera House in Virginia City dates from 1883.

Opera houses played an important role in Nevada, enabling isolated rural communities to enjoy the same entertainment and cultural activities more readily accessible to residents of metropolitan centers.

Visit NPS Focus for the digitized Nomination Form for Brown's Hall-Thompson's Opera House and photographs of the building.

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