Known Years of Operation

Jan 1, 1870 - Jan 1, 1927

Number of Seats



Frank Groves 1905-1914

The Opera House in Corvallis Oregon was built in 1870 and was operational as a community space until 1927. It was located on the corner of SW 4th and SW Madison in downtown Corvallis. The building was built due to financial funding and free labor offered by the residents of Corvallis, after its construction it became the first public meeting area in town and was used for a variety of events including multiple functions, dancing, band performances, socials, banquets, and theatre performances. The interior of the Opera House was heated by 3 large wood stove, and consisted of a large horseshoe style seating area that could hold 800 seats. The stage had large 25x14 foot opening. In 1886, the  play, Rice's Evangeline, which is known as the first ever real stage play filled the Opera House to exceed its capacity, with 800 seated and more standing guests. In 1915 the Gazette-Times Newspaper moved into the building and operated out of it until the moved out 1926, leaving it to be destroyed in 1950 to make was for what is now the Benton County bank, However it will not be forgotten as there was a Historical marker placed on the bank in 1984 recognizing the Opera House and the vital role it played in the development of the city. 

The Opera House was not recognized or the role it played as a community center, but also as a landmark to demonstrate the rapid development that took place in the city at the time  As seen in the Sanborn insurance company maps, the first issue of it representing the city showed the Opera house. In September 1888, 18 years after the building was built, it was the only major building in the area. Fast forward to April 1912, and it can be seen as apart of a busy area with much more infrastructure and businesses, along with this, the city hall of Corvallis was Built across the street.

Works Cited

  • Benton County Museum . (2018). Covallis Opera House . Retrieved May 31, 2022, from 

    “Corvallis [Benton County] September 1888,” 1867-1970 (Proquest, LLC, 2016).

    “Corvallis [Benton County] June 1890,” 1867-1970 (Proquest, LLC, 2016).

    “Corvallis [Benton County] May 1895,” 1867-1970 (Proquest, LLC, 2016).

    “Corvallis [Benton County] April 1912,” 1867-1970 (Proquest, LLC, 2016).

    Oregon Digital. Class play in the Corvallis Opera House | Corvallis Historical Images | Oregon Digital. (n.d.). Retrieved May 31, 2022, from 

    The 1870s. (n.d.). Retrieved May 31, 2022, from 

    The Opera House Carnival advertisement,  Corvallis Gazette., March 11, 1904, p. 5

    The Opera House, King Dodo Advertisement The Daily Gazette-Times., December 01, 1909, p. 2

    The Opera House Historical Marker. Historical Marker. (2018, January 20). Retrieved May 31, 2022, from