Detroit Opera House

Detroit Opera House

by Marianne Weldon, Collections Manager, Department of Special Collections

Utilizing remarkable images from the Manning Brothers Historical Collection, the Michigan Opera Theatre Archives, and several additional collections, Michael Hauser and Marianne Weldon have captured the excitement of the shared entertainment experience in Detroit Opera House.

The theater known today as the Detroit Opera House has been an integral part of the city's culture and history as well as the live entertainment industry. Its existence has been threatened in the past, but it has survived wars, the Great Depression, civil unrest, economic meltdowns, the abandonment of downtown, and, most recently, a pandemic. Generations of patrons have fond, vivid memories of attending films, stage presentations, or events with family and friends as it transitioned from the Broadway Capitol to the Paramount to the Grand Circus to the Detroit Opera House. The reason for building these temples of amusement was to literally transport a guest into another world, and the Detroit Opera House has valiantly fulfilled that task. What began as an idea by David DiChiera, founder of Michigan Opera Theatre, the owner and operator of today's Detroit Opera House, blossomed into a magnificent performing arts center with its formal opening in 1996.

Hauser is marketing manager for the Detroit Opera House, and Weldon is the collections manager for art and artifacts at Bryn Mawr College.

Publication Date: 
March 14, 2022