The Abbeville Opera House

100 Court Square
Abbeville, SC 29620

864-366-2157

About Us:

At the turn of the century there were many "road companies" producing shows in New York City. Once the production was assembled, the show traveled throughout the country. One of the more popular tours went from New York to Richmond to Atlanta. For a number of years, Abbeville was an overnight stop for the entire touring company. Several members of the community decided that if this area had a facility, since the traveling companies were coming through the area anyway, Abbeville could sponsor some of these touring productions. On October 1, 1908, what was then the Abbeville District dedicated a new Court House and City Hall. The grand old theatre now known as the Abbeville Opera House was a part of that splendid pair of buildings "equal in beauty of architecture and modern conveniences of any in the state," according to regional newspaper accounts of the day. From that time on, all the "greats and near greats" played on the magnificent Opera House stage. Vaudeville was in its "heyday" as was Abbeville and the famous Abbeville Opera House. Today, most people who visit the historic Abbeville Opera House, see a building that represents a microcosm of the history of Abbeville, South Carolina, since the turn-of-the-century. Efforts toward preservation and renewal of Abbeville (long known as the "birthplace and deathbed of the confederacy,") and the renewal of the Abbeville Opera House began some thirty years ago with the beautifully restored Abbeville Opera House continuing to be one of the strongest drawing cards for the tourism industry in the upstate of South Carolina. The theatre, under the Executive Direction of Michael Genevie, operates year round. The 218 newly refurbished seats face a 7,800 square foot stage. The balcony has 92 seats and the turn of the century boxes seat up to 6 people in each of the four box seats. The Abbeville Opera House's programming includes a broad range of material, presenting approximately 100 performances in the combined Winter and Summer Theatre Seasons. Each play is directed and produced in Abbeville with the theatre operating over 36 weekends a year. A typical season is filled with popular Broadway musicals, comedies, mysteries and dramas.

The Abbeville Opera House was recently designated as the Official Rural Drama State Theatre of South Carolina. Our summer theatre season will begin its 34th year of operation next summer, having twice received the South Carolina Governor’s Travel Award for Tourism. The Summer and Winter theatre season combined attract approximately 20,000 people each year to the theatre. Many civic, church and tour groups from throughout the southeast attend performances each year.

Restored to its original turn-of-the-century condition in 1968, the continuing renovation and restoration of this wonderful and historic theatre is an ongoing process. Although the dressing rooms are used for every performance at the Abbeville Opera House, they have never been renovated and are in dire need of attention. The historic Abbeville Opera House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been a not for profit (501 – c – 3) corporation since 1958. At the turn of the century there were many "road companies" producing shows in New York City. Once the production was assembled, the show traveled throughout the country. One of the more popular tours went from New York to Richmond to Atlanta. For a number of years, Abbeville was an overnight stop for the entire touring company. Several members of the community decided that if this area had a facility, since the traveling companies were coming through the area anyway, Abbeville could sponsor some of these touring productions. On October 1, 1908, what was then the Abbeville District dedicated a new Court House and City Hall. The grand old theatre now known as the Abbeville Opera House was a part of that splendid pair of buildings "equal in beauty of architecture and modern conveniences of any in the state," according to regional newspaper accounts of the day. From that time on, all the "greats and near greats" played on the magnificent Opera House stage. Vaudeville was in its "heyday" as was Abbeville and the famous Abbeville Opera House. Today, most people who visit the historic Abbeville Opera House, see a building that represents a microcosm of the history of Abbeville, South Carolina, since the turn-of-the-century. Efforts toward preservation and renewal of Abbeville (long known as the "birthplace and deathbed of the confederacy,") and the renewal of the Abbeville Opera House began some thirty-five years ago with the beautifully restored Abbeville Opera House continuing to be one of the strongest drawing cards for the tourism industry in the upstate of South Carolina. The theatre operates year round with 218 newly refurbished seats facing a 7,800 square foot stage. The newly renovated balcony has 75 seats; and, the turn of the century boxes seat up to 6 people in each of the four box seats. The Abbeville Opera House's programming includes a broad range of material, presenting approximately 100 performances in the combined Winter and Summer Theatre Seasons. Each play is directed and produced in Abbeville with the theatre operating over 36 weekends a year. A typical season is filled with popular Broadway musicals, comedies, mysteries and dramas.

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