Opera House to come to life


BELLVILE — The quiet top floor of village hall is going to be brought back to life, if the wishes of a group of locals come to pass.

The top floor of the building in the former opera house has an auditorium — a spacious, ornate room, complete with stage.

It may be destined to host talent shows, family movies or other comfortable, and comforting, events, said Mayor Teri Brenkus.

Village council has given first reading to an ordinance that would allow alcohol to be consumed on those premises. Brenkus said the ordinance would allow the village to get six temporary permits which would allow alcohol consumption. Under the rules she is suggesting, people could have access to two tickets per meal, so that wine could be consumed with a picnic, or an event could be staged with wine and cheese to be consumed.

Brenkus said a committee has been formed to figure out how events can be staged at the opera house. An application for a 501c3 tax status will be filed. That would mean charitable contributions could be collected to refurbish the hall, she said.

The plan is to try to raise money in May and June. The room should be painted and lights refurbished or replaced, she said.

The room has ornate red velvet curtains, and red chairs.

There is a lift chair at the back of the hall, which makes it accessible for persons who are disabled or handicapped.

A Mason and Hamlin grand piano sits in the room, and there is plenty of room for an audience of 150.

The opera house was built in 1878 and the auditorium was placed on the top floor. For 50 years plays and other events were held there. When the building reached 100 years old, in 1978, it was given a good cleaning.

Recently, new windows have been put in on the first and second floors. The old ceiling tiles in the meeting room on the first floor also has been replaced.

Brenkus said she hopes people will participate in events like a local talent show. She would like to see a family movie night. Events were held there as recently as 2010, when a concert was presented by Alasdair Fraser, on the Scots fiddle, and Natalia Haas, a cellist.

Work on the opera house would have to cease in the summer, because there is no air conditioning in the room.

Eventually, the room would be available for rent for people wishing to stage special events, Brenkus said.

The committee currently has six members, including Brenkus, Judy Snyder, and Doug and Tammy Wertz. More committee members are being sought, she

said.

said.

The ornate top floor of Bellville village hall holds an old opera house. A project is underway to have it painted and improved, and made home to shows, movies and other events. Photo by Louise Swartzwalder
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/39/2017/02/web1_opera.jpgThe ornate top floor of Bellville village hall holds an old opera house. A project is underway to have it painted and improved, and made home to shows, movies and other events. Photo by Louise Swartzwalder

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/39/2017/02/web1_ceiling.jpg

 

By LOUISE SWARTZWALDER

lswartzwalder@civitasmedia.com

 

 

Reach Louise at lswartzwalder@civitasmedia.com