McIntosh Opera House

The opening of this grand opera house, built by John McIntosh in 1896, confirmed Kalispell’s growing regional importance. Traveling theatrical groups brought elaborate scenery that transformed the second-floor theater. When one early performance of Uncle Tom’s Cabin drew a record crowd of 1,132, patrons stood on benches, in the gallery, and in the window sills. McIntosh’s hardware and Harvey Cannon’s gentlemen’s clothing stores were the original ground-floor businesses. Over the years McIntosh sold everything from tinware, stoves, pianos, and musical supplies to Studebaker buggies, cars, and tractors. The upstairs Opera House long served the community as meeting hall, school auditorium, gymnasium, and ballroom. For a time between 1905 and 1906, its hardwood floor became a splendid roller skating rink. A catastrophic fire in 1935 ended the building’s long service as a theater, but the sturdy survivor with its fine decorative brickwork remains one of Main Street’s largest and most prominenet fixtures.

Images

McIntosh Opera House

McIntosh Opera House

b&w Oversize Photo. captioned 'McIntosh Opera House, 1906'. | Source: Image available on the Montana Memory Project, contributing institution Museum at Central School | Creator: Unidentified photographer View File Details Page

McIntosh Opera House, corner view.

McIntosh Opera House, corner view.

Opera Block, Kalispell, Mont. McIntosh Hardware Co. signs painted on side of building and the Farmers Protective Association occupies the lower level. No postmark; unused postcard. PAc 2013-50 Kalispell - Buildings, General - Opera Block | Source: Montana Historical Society Research Center Photograph Archives, Helena, Montana | Creator: Publisher unknown View File Details Page

1st looking west from the roof of the West Hotel

1st looking west from the roof of the West Hotel

Looking west down 1st St. Taken from the roof of the West Hotel 47 1st Ave. E. McIntosh Hardware/Opera House may be viewed mid-distance. | Source: Image available on the Montana Memory Project, contributing institution Museum at Central School | Creator: Unidentified photographer View File Details Page

McIntosh Opera House, street view

McIntosh Opera House, street view

photo adhered to information sheet with Ref. # obscured (verso unavailable) b&w print | Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana | Creator: Unidentified photographer View File Details Page

Street Address:

48 South Main Street, Kalispell, Montana [map]

Cite this Page:

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “McIntosh Opera House,” Explore Big – Montana's Historic Places, accessed March 24, 2017, http://explorebig.org/items/show/470.

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