Located along the once busy Chenango Canal at the border of Chenango and Madison counties, the village of Earlville prospered in the mid-19th century. Today, painted-lady Victorian homes line village streets and the historic three-story brick Earlville Opera House stands central to the community.
Built in 1892, the Opera House provided an essential venue for entertainment and community functions. Like most theaters, it evolved over the years in response to changing tastes. It originally hosted lavish theatrical productions, then vaudeville acts and eventually, motion pictures. Declining attendance finally forced the theater to close in the 1950’s. Then, in 1971 a group of concerned citizens developed a plan to bring the Opera House back to life. Two years later the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in 1975 the fully restored Opera House was once again open for business.
Earlville’s Opera House soon regained its former status of providing top-notch performing arts entertainment. The pride of the community, Earlville Opera House represents historic preservation at its finest. It stands today as an example of this community’s passion for its past, and as a major landmark on New York’s “Path Through History.”
Photos Courtesy of:
Chenango County Historian
Chenango County Historical Society
Earlville Opera House