When the Turner Opera House in downtown Elkader was destroyed by fire in 1902, the community banded together and within four days raised $10,000 for the construction of a new opera house. A new facility was constructed less than a year after the fire, and the Elkader Opera House opened its doors with the performance of the George M. Cohen musical The Governor’s Son on November 26, 1903. After serving as a community room, dance hall, roller rink, library and more, the century-old building has undergone a significant renovation to restore the theater to its original state.
Interior features include a horseshoe balcony, unique ruby glass chandelier and a stage curtain advertising local businesses from Elkader’s history. The opera house continues to be used today; a schedule of events, including performances from well-known groups and local community players, can be found on the Elkader Opera House website.