Over the past several months, the Board of Directors of Franklin Opera House have tackled the need to replace the gold stage curtain which had served well for over 15 years. Through the generosity of private donors, a Go Fund Me campaign, large contributions from the Footlight Theatre Board, the FHS Players, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and the work of a remarkable crew of volunteers, a beautiful new burgundy curtain has replaced the old. The new curtain has a lifetime fire retardant rating. Volunteers included members of Footlight Theatre, Franklin High School drama students, and members of the Opera House organization.
The Franklin Opera House had a vibrant presence in the City of Franklin from the late 1800’s until after World War II. Around that time, the popularity of community based theater was in decline as people turned to television and commercial cinema. Thus, various city departments took over the space for offices.
In 1999 a group of dedicated volunteers came together to form the Franklin Opera House Restoration Committee, which evolved into a nonprofit corporation, to reclaim and restore the House. By 2001, shows lit up the stage for the first time in 30 years and the theater continues to be a vital cultural center for Central New Hampshire. Live theater is alive and well here!
The Opera House can be proud of its long history and celebrate the work of so many volunteers who have made it possible. Volunteer opportunities abound for anyone who would like to join this dedicated group, from ushering, maintenance, house management, refreshments or wherever you think your talent and interests might serve.
The next performance on Thursday, October 5 will be a one-time performance of “Frankenstein” followed on Sunday, October 8 with a free community concert by the Carter Mountain Brass Band.
To learn more about the Opera House history and resurrection, visit: franklinoperahouse.org and be sure to check out the upcoming presentations. Come to enjoy local theater and help celebrate the new curtain.