Mauch Chunk Opera House

14 West Broadway
570-325-0249

History:

In 1881, the community of Mauch Chunk, PA called for a new market and town hall, as it had quickly outgrown the existing wood-frame structure. Initially, the Mauch Chunk Opera House featured both an open-air farmer’s market on the first floor and a second-story concert hall, and a magnificent Romanesque tower in the front of the building. Addison Hutton, a Philadelphia architect who often visited  Mauch Chunk, designed the building. The dedicated citizens of Mauch Chunk paid for and built the structure so they could enjoy professional performances in their own town. Construction began in August of 1881 and amazingly, the hall was formally opened on the evening of February 4, 1882. A comedy,  Edgewood Folks, was performed before a packed house.  Soon, the Opera House became a regular stop on the old Vaudeville Circuit. Al Jolsen, May West, performed here regularly as well as John Philip Sousa, who delighted audiences with an annual show. "The Opera House was of ample size, appropriately and elegantly finished and furnished, and possessed the important requisite of excellent acoustic properties."  In 1927, the building was purchased by the Comerford amusement chain, who renovated extensively, turning the second floor into the current balcony. The front tower was also removed, the victim of steady weakening by the floods that raged down Broadway from the Mauch Chunk River, before the dam at Mauch Chunk Lake was built in 1972. During the next three decades the Opera House became known as the Capitol Theater, a movie house.

However, it officially closed on April 27, 1959. Film entertainment at the Capitol Theater had been dying a slow death. Its once-heavy patronage had been reduced to a mere trickle by television, cineplexes,  and other entertainment media."That was a Monday night and on the bill was Tom Thumb," the local newspaper reported, “The Capitol Theatre closed its doors here last night, perhaps never to open again.  ”In 1960 the building was purchased by Berkeley Bags Company, a pocketbook manufacturer, and used for years as a warehouse.

In 1974 it was obtained by the Mauch Chunk Historical Society for $1. They began a restoration project by building the current lobby and restrooms, adding a new stage, and starting the long process of returning the venue to its rightful place in the community as a performance venue.  After many fits and starts, a program of regular performance  - rock music, singer-songwriter, jazz, contemporary dance, theater and classical music – began to fill the room beginning in June  6th of 2003. Further upgrade projects were undertaken with the generous help of members donating their time and money at all levels.

In 2008, the original tin roof was replaced with a new steel version. Later that year, the front canopy was rebuilt. Backstage, the facilities were greatly enhanced by the addition of dressing rooms, and a bathroom. Stage lighting, sound, and electrical service into the building were all replaced, and refurbished seats were installed on both the floor and balcony.


Upcoming Events at Mauch Chunk Opera House

Home Again - The Music of Carole King

Saturday, Sep 22, 2018 at 8:00pm
Jim Thorpe, PA
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Show: Dancin' Machine

Saturday, Sep 29, 2018 at 8:00pm
Jim Thorpe, PA
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Reverend Jefferson

Sunday, Oct 7, 2018 at 7:00pm
Jim Thorpe, PA
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Concert: Velvet Caravan

Friday, Nov 2, 2018 at 8:00pm
Jim Thorpe, PA
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Concert: Yarn

Friday, Nov 30, 2018 at 8:00pm
Jim Thorpe, PA
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Concert: Albert Castiglia

Thursday, Dec 13, 2018 at 8:00pm
Jim Thorpe, PA
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Recent News

23rd Annual WinterFest 2017

The Jim Thorpe Tourism Agency hosts the 23rd annual WinterFest President’s Day Weekend. A mix of train rides, family activities, special shopping and dining promotions, and popular Opera House performances mark a weekend of winter fun in Jim Thorpe…

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The Most Excellent Order of Sir Paul is a Thrilling...

The Most Excellent Order of Sir Paul is a thrilling, note-for-note, live concert experience that celebrates the music of Paul McCartney, the rock legend, from his early years before The Beatles, to the incredible British Invasion, Wings and beyond, t…

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40 Story Radio Tower w/Sing Bird of Prey

Another installment of 40 Story Radio Tower hits the stage for summer night of totally unique brand of theater. The brainchild of Joe Ferron Hiatt, writer and playwright, along with the addition of some of the most original thinkers and talent from n…

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The Blue Sisters RUF Records Blues Caravan

Now in its 12th triumphant year, the Blues Caravan is a touring showcase for the hottest young acts on the Ruf label. With past treks helping launch stars including Joanne Shaw Taylor, Laurence Jones and Samantha Fish, it’s a springboard for the bl…

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Upcoming at the Mauch Chunk Opera House - June 6, 2016

David Mayfield ParadeAcoustic Guitar and Songwriting du jourSaturday, June 11One of the finest acoustic guitarists to perform at the Opera House, David Mayfield returns for an encore performance built on his unforgettable show last summer, in which h…

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Upcoming at the Mauch Chunk Opera House - November 4, 2015

The Music Of Simon & Garfunkel November 6Swearingen & Kelli recreate the music, memories and magic of the most famous folk-rock duo of our time, Simon and Garfunkel. AJ Swearingen has been performing this music for twenty years with mastery o…

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Mauch Chunk Opera House - Upcoming

Ted Vigil's Salute to John Denver October 9John Denver is alive and well with Ted Vigil! With his uncanny resemblance to John Denver, both physically and vocally, singer/songwriter Ted Vigil has stunned audiences across the country with his tribute p…

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The Stranger – A Tribute to Billy Joel

THE STRANGER is the complete premiere tribute to the music of one of the world’s most beloved performers, Billy Joel. Comprised of some of the best and most experienced musicians in the business, this 6 piece band brings together an authentic repli…

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Frank Sinatra 100 Year Birthday Celebration Tribute Featuring Tony Sands And His 8-Piece Swing Band

Tony Sands captivates his audiences with the mannerisms, illusion and romance that have made him a must-see in Atlantic City and Vegas for more than 20 years. His impressive resume includes numerous television appearances throughout the east coast, a…

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Mauch Chunk Opera House: Hollywood Nights – Tribute to Bob Seger

Hollywood Nights is truly a Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet band experience!Their show is based on Bob’s high-energy performances of the late nineteen seventies and the band’s attention to detail cannot go unnoticed. This powerhouse band has set …

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40 Story Radio Tower - Featuring Natural Stranger

It’s coming, the most anticipated episode of the season! It all happens as part of 40 Story Radio Tower, in the shocking finale in the little clinic called Crosspital!If you haven’t been following our dear, dear Mr. Crumbel for the past year, as …

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Atlas Gray

Atlas Gray’s music and performances capture the qualities of music that move people. Steeped in the traditions of funk and soul, their sound is instantly recognizable yet entirely new.Influenced by his jazz and rock backgrounds, singer, songwriter …

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Chatham County Line

Entering their second decade as an ensemble, Chatham County Line bring a deep reverence for traditional American roots music and timeless bluegrass instrumentation to insightful, poetic original songs that are powerfully contemporary yet rich with th…

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Jubilee Riots – Formerly Enter The Haggis

Jubilee Riots, formerly Enter The Haggis, is an eclectic Celtic rock band from Canada, with bagpipes, fiddle, whistle, harmonica, trumpet and a roots rock rhythm section. They continue to perform all of the ETH celtic favorites. Under their former na…

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Simone Felice with Anna Mitchell

With special accompaniment by Anna MitchellThe music of Simone Felice is filled with songs of memory and regret, of reminiscence and desire, songs that reflect on love and childhood and Americanness and, more than anything, on time passing. Each one …

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Fundraiser Update - Luv It Live at The Mauch Chunk Opera House

The Luv It Live  - Fundraiser Update Hi everyone, less than three weeks to go and we are beginning our final push.   We are grateful to all who have supported us, but we still have more work to do to reach our goal.So if you were thinking about s…

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Help Stop the Mauch Chunk Opera House From Closing!

We Are Conducting a Fundraising CampaignYOUR HELP IS NEEDED! - Weekly Fundraiser Update -  We would like to sincerely thank all those who have shown their generous support in this past week. We still a ways to go to reach our goal.  Please spread t…

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TUSK Performing the Music of Fleetwood Mac

USK covers all the great hits of Fleetwood Mac, which has featured the talents of Mick Fleetwood, Christine and John McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and others over the years. The Fleetwood Mac story is an episodic saga that spans more than 3…

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Albert Cummings Band

When it comes to blues guitar, Cummings is the real deal, not to mention a deeply talented frontman and singer. Breaking every cliché associated with the blues, he knows the life of the working man. Producing some of the most powerful blues-rock of …

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An Evening with the Badlees

The Badlees return to the Mauch Opera House joined by special guests: original member Jeff Feltenberger, and keyboardist, Bob Scott Richardson. They join Pete Palladino, Ron Simasek, Dustin Drevitch, and Nyke Van Wyk to celebrate the band’s illustr…

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Dancin’ Machine – Retro Dance Party

Get out your bell bottom jeans and polyester shirt! Recapture the days of Boogie Fever and do The Hustle to all of the top Disco hits of the 70′s. It’s time to party with the East Coast’s hottest Disco tribute! Dancin Machine makes every event …

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Paragon Ragtime Orchestra with Silent Film Classics

The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra is the world’s only year-round, professional ensemble re-creating “America’s Original Music” – the syncopated sounds of early musical theater, silent cinema, and vintage dance. They perform the actual scores th…

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Show - Billy Cobham Spectrum 40 Band

Billy Cobham is one of the world's greatest drummers, chosen by everyone from the fusion supergroup Mahavishnu Orchestra, jazz pioneer Miles Davis, to Bob Weir and the Midnites, to anchor their bands with just his presence, not to mention his limitle…

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Show - Cast of Beatlemania

The Cast of Beatlemania recreates the sights and sounds of The Beatles so faithfully that you will recall when Beatlemania was the most pleasant fever of all!Performing two shows: they will focus on the albums Meet the Beatles and Abbey Road during t…

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Show - Solas

With Shamrock City, Irish-American supergroup Solas delivers a singular concept album delving into the gritty world of Irish immigrants toiling in the mines of Montana, stories that resonate powerfully with contemporary accounts of field workers and …

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Show - Incendio

Capture a raging firestorm – the music of Incendio! Over the last decade, this Latin guitar world fusion group has committed a unique alchemy of composition, technique and performance to seven critically acclaimed international CD releases.  At th…

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This Week Live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House: May 1 to 3, 2014

The Whigs with Nikki Lane Ah, that good ol' rock 'n' roll - it's never gone away, but whenever you see it in its purest form it's always a special occasion. This is the case with The Whigs, the three-piece power rock machine from Athens, Georgia. T…

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This Week Live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House: April 4 and 5, 2014

Start Making Sense If David Byrne is one of the geniuses of modern times, then Start Making Sense is a tribute to genius. The musicians in this 7-piece Talking Heads Tribute take pride in faithfully recreating the music of Talking Heads' entire car…

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This Week Live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House: March 27 to 29, 2014

40-Story Tower with Birdie Busch and the Greatest Night 40 Story Radio Tower is part Late Night talk, meets variety acts, meets battle of the bands, with a poetry slam thrown in. It features original broadcast-style dramas and comedies, as the unset…

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This Week Live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House: March 21 and 22, 2014

Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo We celebrate the arrival of Spring with Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo onstage, two of the finest guitarists you will ever see. There's a reason so many stars work with Frank Vignola. One of the world's truly extrao…

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This Week Live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House: March 7 and 8, 2014

Cabinet Some of the most unforgettable moments in recent years at the Opera House have come courtesy of Cabinet, the fast-rising Pennsylvania bluegrass-jamband that visits. Who can forget this stirring encore performance during their December, 2012…

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This Week Live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House: March 7 and 8, 2014

Cabinet Some of the most unforgettable moments in recent years at the Opera House have come courtesy of Cabinet, the fast-rising Pennsylvania bluegrass-jamband that visits. Who can forget this stirring encore performance during their December, 2012…

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This Week Live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House: February 21 and 22, 2014

Dar Williams Honesty really is the best policy, at least where singer-songwriters are concerned. Such is the case with Dar Williams, whose beautifully crafted folk songs reveal layers of emotion that ring achingly true. There's something to be said…

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This Week Live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House: February 1 to 8, 2014

Claire Lynch Special Guest: Lily Mae Having Claire Lynch Band in the house is almost like hearing Dolly Parton. With some of the sweetest bluegrass to be sung here, she effortlessly conjures the warm twilight of the hills of Kentucky. The Washingto…

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This Upcoming Weekend at the Mauch Chunk Opera House: January 21, 2014

New West Guitar Group We explore a new world of music with New West Guitar Group, for only $10. If you like guitar music or you are a guitar player this is a beautiful concert for you. New West's original music and creative covers combine incredibl…

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This Upcoming Weekend at the Mauch Chunk Opera House: January 15, 2014

Hard Travelin' With Woody Guthrieby Randy NoonjinFriday, January 17 Hop a fast rattler through the Dustbowl with Woody Guthrie and commune  with the spirit, stories and songs of America's greatest poet-of-the-people and saint-of-the-working-man in R…

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Mauch Chunk Opera House News: Closing Out 2013 at the Opera House

We present two shows to close out a truly terrific 2013: B-Street Band The B-Street Band We bring the B-Street Band to the Opera House, a tribute to Bruce Springsteen and an all-around great time, and personal friends with luminaries from the rece…

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New Year Eve Party With The Tartan Terrors

Bring in the new year with celtic music and laughter, Tartan Terrors style Taking the Celtic scene by storm, the Tartan Terrors, North America’s premiere Celtic Event, features the best in music, comedy and dance. Bolstered by the blistering pipin…

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Mauch Chunk Opera House Programs for October 25 and 26, 2013

The Badlees It's hard to say "Pennsylvania band" without also saying "The Badlees," possibly the most well-known rock outfit to emerge from these parts. Long in each others' orbits as friends, drinkin' buddies, and as members of other bands, frontm…

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Mauch Chunk Opera House Programs for October 18 and 19, 2013

Childhood's End Childhood's End - A Tribute To Pink Floyd presents a complete multi-media Pink Floyd concert experience. Their note perfect renditions of the classic catalog are enhanced with video projection, intelligent lighting and cutting edge s…

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Mauch Chunk Opera House Programs for October 10 to 12, 2013

The Steepwater Band Starting out with renditions of great blues rock by Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf and many others isn't a bad way to become blazing musicians in your own right. Chicago's Steepwater Band focuses mainly on origi…

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Dancin' Machine

We have Dancin' Machine back for another Disco party and non-stop hits. With a horn section, great singers, that band can play, and no matter what I doubt you'll be in your seat. It's non-stop Disco hits this Friday night from Dancin' Machine, eve…

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Splintered Sunlight

It's Splintered Sunlight in the house, performing the Grateful Dead's Halloween 1980 concert, complete with three sets - one acoustic and two electric. Splintered Sunlight brings their Grateful Dead Dance Party back to the Mauch Chunk Opera House …

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Craig Thatcher’s Salute to the Fillmore, Volume II

Bill Graham’s legendary Fillmores East and West are the standards by which all live venues measure themselves.Every great group of the era (Allman Brothers, Cream, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Derek and the Dominoes, Grateful Dead, Jimi…

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Dave Matthews Tribute by Billy Bauer Band

Special Guest: Scott McKennaThe vocal style of Bethlehem-based Billy Bauer is so similar to that of the great Dave Matthews that it is only natural that he and his incendiary band would perform a tribute to his music at the Opera House.A strong work …

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Mountain Spring Wellness Festival and Concert

We have a special day planned in beautiful Jim Thorpe, PA for you.A day of yoga, meditation, relaxation, and workshops, it's a celebration of living in harmony with your world, with classes and workshops, chair massages, reiki and a drum circle, spon…

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Allentown Band Labor Day Weekend

We celebrate remarkable history and legacy of The Allentown Band, the oldest civilian concert band in the United States since 1828. Whether the music is an overture transcribed from opera, or a John Philip Sousa march, the Allentown Band is one of…

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Photos