Grand Opera House

A 1906 photograph of the Grand Opera House, which was located near present-day City Hall and the Tulsa Performing Arts Center

The Grand Opera House opened in 1906 featuring local and famed traveling acts at its location on East Second Street between Boston and Cincinnati avenues.

The theater portion of the building hosted vaudeville shows, assemblies, lectures and speeches, as well as nationally renowned performers such as Wook and Wand and the New York Symphony. The building also housed physicians’ offices, retail stores and the Tulsa Conservatory of Music, where one could receive lessons from the Grand musicians themselves. 

With the growing popularity of moving pictures, the Grand added the capability to convert into a movie house and was advertised as the Grand Theatre as early as 1913. The titles Grand Opera House and Grand Theatre became interchangeable depending on the type of event at the venue. 

The Grand was soon overshadowed by the opening of Convention Hall, now the Tulsa Theater, in 1914. Larger traveling opera companies preferred the Hall for its spaciousness. Performances and film screenings continued at the Grand until 1920, when a fire started under the stage and quickly spread.

The owners of the building vowed not to rebuild as a theatrical performance venue and instead sold it to a furniture company that renovated the building and occupied the space until a second fire in 1928.

The structure was rebuilt and utilized as an auction house. It was finally destroyed by a wrecking ball in the early ’70s during urban renewal.

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