A Grand Old Building
The Fremont Opera House, formerly the Love Opera House held its grand opening performance the evening of December 14, 1888. This was the start to nearly 28 years of successful live theater in Fremont.
This five story structure was considered one of the finest buildings in the state, with an amazing seating capacity of 1,100. The theater space located on the upper three floors was considered ornate with an impressive domed ceiling.
The facility served the community well for many years, yet sadly the upper floors of this historic structure have been closed to the public for decades.
In 1975 the Opera House became the first building in Fremont to join the National
Registry of Historic Places. It earned this recognition in part due to the architecture of the structure and physical size.
This building also added to its history by surviving the Pathfinder Hotel explosion in 1976. Even though there was damage to the façade, amazingly the building remained structurally sound.
Of the more than 500 opera houses built in Nebraska only a handful remain today.
An Opportunity to Bring Live Performances Back to the Fremont Opera House
Following a series of in-depth studies and much research, a new vision for this historic building was developed.
The vision called for a fully redeveloped facility featuring original programming on both a small and larger scale. It also has flexible spaces that will allow for traditional productions, dinner theater, cabaret style shows and various non-traditional arts uses. The programming features a mix of locally produced events, as well as regional and national traveling shows.
The research also identified a unique opportunity for children’s theatre in our community…both productions produced for children and families and productions produced by young people.
A Design Concept is Developed
In 2011 the main floor renovations were completed.
The grand balcony and other historical elements will be restored to bring back a mix of modern and historical features. The hand painted decorations and domed ceiling will be recreated to bring back the original feel of this important space.
The comprehensive plan also calls for an addition to the building to open up access to the various floors with stairs and elevators without compromising the original space.