Sterling Opera House
First the History
On April 2, 1889 the doors of the Sterling Opera House were opened to the public. It was designed by Italianate Victorian style architect H.E. Ficken, who also was co-designer of the famous Carnegie Halllocated in Manhattan, NY. It was built to serve both political and entertainment needs. The lower two levels and the basement were actually the town's City Hall and police station from when it opened up until 1965.The auditorium was used for hundreds of shows and live musical performances in its day. In fact, many world famous performers such as Harry Houdini and Red Skelton took the stage at Sterling. Shows were held up until 1945 when the curtain closed for the last time. The Sterling Opera House was also later recognized as a historic place with historic value when it became the first building in CT to be added to theNational Register of Historic Places on November 8, 1968.
The first showing at the opera house was created by James A. Herne, called "Drifting Apart", and was said that it was "a melodramatic temperance play without the traditional didactic sermons preaching the evils of drink." It also turned out to be a financial failure for James A. Herne. The name of the play was more fitting for the relationship between Derby and Ansonia at the time. Ansonia saw no point in having another opera house be built when they already had a perfectly good one in their town. Brought on by the play, there became drama outside of the building which had a hand in helping the two cities separate.
The last showing at the Sterling Opera House was "Ye Olde Time Minstrel." It was presented by the Lafayette Men's and Women's Club in honor of the returning soldiers of WWII. It showed on November 30th- December 1st, 1945. After, it had no regularly scheduled program for ten years, though there were special performances before it closed in 1965
We arived at the Opera House and it was great inside juston it's history alone. We heard foot steps seen a shadow person and heard singing. We posted most of our findings below
The first large photo below is property of Joe Pagan of Pagan Paranormal
Look in the top row of the balcony towards the window. It was challenged by a
photgrapher from Chicago Tribune who after trying many ways to debunk could
Not find the photo was tampered with or any matrixing. One of the main claims
is a woman sitting in the seats.
Thank you Joe for allowing us to share this great photo.
Our findings are under the photo. We had a great time