Known Years of Operation

Sep 26, 1902 - Mar 1, 1917

Number of Seats

1200 (1)


T. Orin Baker, John W Hogg, Harry Holmes, H.R. Schultz, F.W. Walters

After months of pleading notices in the Albany Democrat, the Albany Grand Opera House opened in September of 1902 (2).

Opera House needed, Albany Democrat, 1901
Albany Democrat, Aug. 16, 1901, p. 4.
Opera House needed, Albany Democrat, 1901
Albany Democrat, June 28, 1901, p. 4.

Many different events occurred in the Albany Opera House. For example, orchestra music, vaudeville acts, choirs, religious services, dramas, plays, moving pictures, etc. Prices ranged from 5-75 cents depending on the content/event ($1.36-$20.33 in 2018) (3).

Newspaper items for the Opera House typically included the who, what, where, and when the event would be held, along with an endorsement of the quality of the event and talent of the performer (4). They often included sayings such as “never attempted before!” to catch readers attention. They provided detailed descriptions of the material that was going to be shown as well as follow-ups on how the audience responded to certain events. Also, they included critic reviews of upcoming events/performers (5).

The Albany Opera House included moving pictures in its programming at least as early as 1906 when they showed the filmed boxing match between Jimmy Britt and Battling Nelson (6). The ticket prices for this show were particular interesting: 25, 50, and 57 cents. It made me wonder about the random pricing of 57 cents. How and why did they come up with the idea of 57 cents? This was the only time I encountered a pricing such as this one.

Harry Holmes, took over management in 1906. He promised to provide the audience with the best vaudeville performances that they had ever witnessed before, along with the most recent moving pictures courtesy of "special arrangements" with the Edison Moving Picture company (7).

The Albany Opera House changed ownership in 1917 and became the Family Theatre (8). 

Works Cited

  • 1. ["Dr. J.L. Hill has bought the Monteith property...:], Albany Democrat, June 21, 1901, p. 3.

    2. "Opening of the Albany Grand Opera House," Albany Democrat, Sept. 26, 1902, p. 5.

    3. 2000 Dollars Today | Inflation Calculator,

    4. "With Mahara," Albany Democrat, Feb. 3, 1905, p. 7.

    5. "A Fine Thing," Albany Democrat, Jan. 6, 1905, p. 7.

    6. Albany Opera House advertisement, Albany Democrat, Jan. 19, 1906, p. 1.

    7. Albany Opera House advertisement, Albany Democrat, Apr. 27, 1906, p. 8.

    8. Family Theatre advertisement, Albany Daily Democrat, Mar. 31, 1917, p. 4.