7 West South Street
Smyrna, DE 19977
The Smyrna Opera House was originally built in 1870 and served as the town hall and the center of community activities until its conversion into a movie theatre in the 1920s. Notable speakers included Frederick Douglass and William Jennings Bryan. Since the "Roaring Twenties," the Opera House embarked on a long, slow slide into obscurity, until Christmas night 1948 when a devastating fire destroyed the top floor and landmark bell tower. Afterwards, the building sat largely unused, until the Smyrna-Clayton Heritage Association initiated a restoration campaign in 1998. Founded by a small group of Smyrna residents, the Association envisioned a thriving arts center that would immerse the community in a variety of cultural activities. Five years later, the fully-restored Opera House opened its doors to the community of Smyrna and beyond. Since 1998, the Association has offered cultural programming in various locales throughout the local community until the Smyrna Opera House formally opened in March of 2003. Over the past ten years, public demand has enabled the Association to increase its event offerings from five during the premier season to currently around thirty arts endeavors per year. The Opera House rarely experiences a dark day - or evening - between music performances (including jazz, classical, bluegrass, country and singer/songwriters), theatre shows, rentals, rehearsals, art shows, seminars, weddings, business meetings, summer camp, classes, Association gatherings and various other cultural events. All of the Opera House programming adheres to our mission "to provide affordable cultural access and enrichment for people of all ages and backgrounds."