Springfield Then & Now: Black’s Opera House



Before Black’s Opera House opened in Springfield in 1869 at the northwest corner of Fountain and Main, the Market House at High and Fountain (now the Esplanade) was the only place for entertainment in town.

Thanks to longtime merchant Andrew Black, Springfield “at last had a public hall worthy of Springfield.”

Black’s Opera House cost $100,000 to construct. The theater, which seated 1,500, was located on the second floor while Andrew Black had a dry goods store on the first.

The opera house opened on February 4, 1869, and the first play was “The Drummer Boy of Shilo.”

Today, the location is the site of Hull Plaza.

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