Our 14th venue visit on 2013′s Conclave Theatre Tour will be to:
BARDAVON 1869 OPERA HOUSE
35 Market Street, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
OPENED: February 1, 1869
ARCHITECT: James Post
The Bardavon Opera House began its life as the Collingwood Opera House with a capacity of 2,000 seats. James Collingwood was a prosperous Poughkeepsie coal and lumber merchant who built the theatre behind his Market Street office building. The Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle reported that “…the great Hall seems to be just right, and for its appearance, comfort and general adoption to the wants of the community it was warmly commended by everybody in the large audience present last night.” The theatre closed on April 15, 1921. The Sunday Courier reported that it “had become obsolete as a playhouse and so the Bardavon Theater Corporation, which purchased it a year or so ago, is to use the brick walls of the old building as the nucleus of a palace of amusement that will meet the needs of the present generation.”
The new theatre was designed in the style of Thomas Lamb. The name was changed to Bardavon in 1923. The Bardavon prospered until 1943 when the corporation sold the theatre to Netco, a subsidiary of Paramount Pictures. The theatre closed as a second-run movie theatre on September 2, 1975 and was scheduled for demolition.
A group of concerned citizens bought the theatre and restored it. The Bardavon is now used for concerts, dance, opera, and children’s theatre. Among the greats who have trod the boards at the Bardavon are George Arliss, Billie Burke, Edwin Booth, Billie Burke, Enrico Caruso, George M. Cohan, Isadora Duncan, Edwin Forrest, Jascha Heifetz. Anna Held, Joseph Jefferson, Lillie Langtry, Modjeska, Paderewski, Serge Rachmaninoff, Lillian Russell, John Phillip Sousa, and Ruth St. Denis. The Bardavon is New York State’s oldest playhouse.
WHY ARE WE SEEING IT?
Beautifully restored, successfully programmed, haunted!
Registrations for Conclave 2013 are now closed.