Morvilius Opera House, Fort Recovery, Ohio

Morvilius Opera House, Fort Recovery, Ohio

Ohio Opera House Being Brought Back From The Ruins: Morvilius Opera House, Fort Recovery, Ohio

After the Civil War, it was popular for small communities to have an opera house — a home not only for music and theater, but a community gathering space for lectures, high school commencement ceremonies, book clubs, sporting events, wedding receptions, and more.

Fort Recovery’s opera house was built in 1883 on the top floor of a commercial storefront. It changed hands several times before being purchased by its namesake, Russell Morvilius, a local dry goods store owner.

Opera houses fell out of fashion when other forms of entertainment, such as movies, became popular. As more people owned automobiles, they could drive longer distances for entertainment — making the local opera house less necessary.

By the 1930s, nearly all community events in Fort Recovery took place at the newly built high school gymnasium. And in 1939, the opera house closed its doors for good.

GPS Coordinates: 40°24’47.6″N 84°46’47.0″W