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opera house live

Our historical location features Live Musical & Theatrical Performances as well as Movie Showings. 

 

music + entertainment since 1910.

 

The Shepherdstown Opera House is one of the oldest movie theaters in America, bringing music and entertainment to Shepherdstown since 1910. A unique venue with close proximity to the DC and Baltimore areas.

The Opera House was built in 1909 by U.S. Martin, who served as Shepherdstown's mayor. Within that same year, it was sold to the Musser family who installed one of the earliest motion picture projectors. The Opera House ran nightly, often showing as many as three different films each week. In 1928 the Opera House became the first motion picture theatre in West Virginia with sound, enabling it to show the newfangled "talkies."

The Musser's closed the Opera House in 1956, and it sat dark and silent until it was purchased by Pam and Rusty Berry. After an extensive renovation following the Department of the Interior guidelines for the restoration of historic structures, the Berry's reopened the Opera House in February of 1992 and began showing American independent and foreign films. 

In October 2010, Lawrence Cumbo purchased the building and business with a vision to take it to the next level. As a filmmaker, Lawrence wanted to preserve the theater's cinematic tradition, but he knew music had to be another cornerstone of the Opera House culture. Since then, continual light and sound system upgrades, an expanded back stage, and revamped green room has allowed this vision to grow into one of the area's finest music and film venues. In 2012, Cumbo joined forces with the Smithsonian Channel to create the music special 'Rocking the Opera House: Dr. John'.

Not a restaurant or a bar, the Opera House is a state-of-the-art, full-service theater on the National Historic Trust Registry. The theater has a special feel to it, with good vibes throughout, from the original seats to the hardwood dance floor. An amazing sound experience is created from the original parabolic shape and technical capabilities of the room. Artists and audience experience something very special at each show.

Shepherdstown is a well suited home for the Opera House - unique in its own right, with a long, rich history of creativity and the arts. Voted one of the best small towns in America by the NY Times, the oldest town in West Virginia has an active music scene supported by locals, Shepherd University students, and people from the surrounding metro areas.

 

 

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INFO@OPERAHOUSELIVE.COM

 

 
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live calendar

 

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JAN 26 / 8PM   GINADA PIÑATA W/ OF TOMORROW 

Ginada Pinata taps the influences of jazz, funk, rock, fusion and trace and blends it to create an organic vibe that entertains and excites audiences. Founded in Shepherdstown, WV in 1998 and getting funkier all the time Ginada has constantly pushed for new sounds and feels. 

Of Tomorrow  
Washington, DC’s finest funk rock reggae samba hip hop musical contraband collective. Geoff Browning (guitar, vocals), Jonathan Modell (drums), Nicholas Söderström (bass), and a rotating cast of hand-picked collaborators who never cease to bring the beat to the street.

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JAN 27 / 8PM   BETTER OFF DEAD

"We come at the music collected and lovingly reimagined by The Grateful Dead and The Jerry Garcia Band with the same sense of discovery, care, and exploration as our heroes. The songs we play—all music associated with the Dead or Garcia in one form or another—come from a beautiful American lineage: blues, country, jazz, rock, and soul. It is music that belongs to all of us, and that so many of us learned from Jerry and the band as they made it part of their unique, democratic language of rhythm, melody, and harmony."

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FEB 3 / 8PM   ZEN W/ 19TH STREET BAND - GROUNDHOG ROMP

ZEN
We like to think that, as with all things Zen, there is an ebb and flow in the unending journey to find that ultimate place of peace and companionship. ZEN music is a shared, collective endeavor. It involves the music, the listeners, and those who want to share space within a sphere of joyful sound.

19th Street Band
Characterized by high energy and strong vocal harmonies, The 19th Street Band brings to the House a fusion of Americana, Country and Rock. Together they ignite an audience with their love for music, combined with a magnetic passion and enthusiasm...this band will undoubtedly get you rockin' & a-rollin' through the night. 

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FEB 4 / 630PM   SUPER BOWL LII POTLUCK PARTY

Join us for our 8th Annual Super Bowl Potluck Party for Super Bowl LII! Come watch the game on the big screen and bring your iconic super bowl dish for some fantastic food fun. As always, drinks and popcorn will be available for sale!
(Free Event)

REVIEWS

 

Our first time at the Opera House and we will definitely be back. The sound was amazing - we saw The Larry Keel Experience and if it's possible for ears to smile-it happened last night. I'm pretty sure it happens all the time there. - M.S. 2017
Great little historic venue! I was visiting the area from Southern NJ and caught the Grateful Dead tribute Better Off Dead. Wow! Fantastic night of music! Staff was friendly and sound was great. Nice dance floor to shake your bones as well.  - J.H. 2016
I absolutely love it here! Without a doubt the FRIENDLIEST staff around! Whether you want to bring the kids along or leave them at home, this is a great place for all ages. Plenty of floor space to dance as well as ample seating if you need to kick off your dancing shoes. We come here every chance we get. If you haven't checked this place out you need to! I cannot express how awesome this place is. If I could give them a million stars I would! - T.C. 2017
Great, cozy, intimate venue with a terrific sound system and great variety of artists. Reasonable ticket prices and has a dancing area for those who want to get up and move to the music. - C.L. 2017
Probably my favorite small venue to see live music. A sweet little theater in a sweet little town with very good Thai food right across the street. I love the Opera House. - T.W. 2017
Best venue in Shepherdstown. Occasional films & special screenings on the big screen, but the music lineup is really where it's at for this space. From big national acts to the best regional bands, the Opera House is an historic gem and a unique venue for experiencing a live music show. - S.H. 2017

RENTALS

RENT THE HISTORIC SHEPHERDSTOWN OPERA HOUSE FOR YOUR SPECIAL EVENTS! We bring a truly dynamic and unique venue to the table. Perfect for:

CONCERTS 
THEATRICAL PERFORMANCES
PRIVATE FILM SCREENINGS / Q+A
RECORDING STUDIO
WEDDINGS
RECEPTIONS
ANNIVERSARIES
CORPORATE EVENTS
BIRTHDAY PARTIES
FAMILY REUNIONS
FIELD TRIPS

In early 2011 we completed a massive light, sound and visual upgrade including a Presonus StudioLive 24 channel digital mixing board with a DBX spectrum analyzed room EQ. Supporting this we've got a stack of mains and a set of bass bins that can forcibly remove socks from your fans. The room can also be leveraged as a recording studio and a digital visual platform for just about anything. The green room has a full bathroom with shower, wardrobe, large outdoor balcony, and rooms with accommodation capabilities.


TECHNICAL SPECS

Front of House
PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2 digital mixer including full dynamics(gate, compressor, limiter, expander, and parametric eq) on every channel
Graphic EQ on All Monitor Mixes
DBX Drive Rack PA+ Loudspeaker Management System
Four 18" speakers
Four 15" speakers
4 Horns
QSC 2450 and QSC 850 Power Amps
Two JBL Eons in back of House for supplementary fill

On Stage
Six JBL Eon G2 monitor wedges
Four Separate Monitor Mixes
Shure Beta Series and Original Series Microphones
Other Microphones include Sennheiser Condensers, AKG, Audio Technica
1910 Schumann Full Upright Piano