The Grand 1894 Opera House Releases January 2020 Schedule
Galveston's Grand 1894 Opera House - celebrating its 125th Anniversary with "A Legendary Season" - opened mid September with the world-renowned Paul Anka singing the best of Sinatra and continues through early May, 2020 when this legendary season concludes with the iconic Temptations. For more information about all the performances scheduled and to purchase tickets, visit online at www.thegrand.com or call the box office at 409.765.1894 or 800.821.1894. The Grand's box office is located at 2020 Postoffice Street.
Special plans for The Grand's birthday and anniversary celebration to be held Friday, January 3, 2020 will include special birthday festivities and complimentary self-guided tours during the day, with a grand celebration planned for that evening - A Night of Stars at 7pm - all to commemorate the theatre's milestone anniversary. Tickets for the evening's festivities are on sale now.
Over the past 125 years, The Grand has showcased such world-renowned performers as Sarah Bernhardt, Pavlova, George M. Cohan, Al Jolson, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Mae West, the Ziegfeld Follies and John Philip Sousa.
In a "nutshell," The Grand 1894 Opera House was the brainchild of Henry Greenwall who managed opera houses throughout Texas and the South. The investors included prominent Galveston businessmen, in addition to New York investors - hand-chosen by Greenwall to build the theatre. The Grand is the last of his theatres still standing - and just one of the few historic theatres in the United States - constructed and designed specifically for live theatre.
Over the past one hundred and twenty-five years, The Grand has been the venue for not only countless magnificent, memorable productions - but also the site of a few unusual performances - with two of the most unusual shows Ben Hur and Chu Chin Chow. Ben Hur required a team of builders brought in ahead of time just to reinforce the stage to accommodate a live chariot race (with horses on a treadmill), while the Chu Chin Chow production was highlighted with live camels, poultry, snakes and a donkey! Interesting anecdotes over the years include the fact that there were many times in The Grand's history that the theatre was dark only 1-2 nights a week -with different performances held each night the theatre was open. Next, Ginger Rogers began her career in vaudeville as the Texas Statewide Charleston Champion - with one of the Charleston contests held at The Grand. Eddie Schreiber (later elected Mayor of Galveston,) assisted with the contests and danced on stage with Ginger! Also interesting to note, prior to the theatre being air-conditioned, ushers were directed to carry pitchers of ice water to patrons during intermission. And, most significant, after The Great 1900 Storm, I.H. Kempner and Bertrand Adoue bought The Grand at a sheriff's auction for $5,000 and restored it. And, the rest as they say... is history!
For more information about The Grand's 125thAnniversary Season, please contact the box office at 409.765.1894, 800.821.1894, or visit The Grand at www.thegrand.com. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Grand 1894 Opera House is located at 2020 Postoffice Street in Galveston's historic downtown Cultural Arts District and recognized as "The Official Opera House of the State of Texas." All major credit cards accepted.