Built in 1885, the opera house in Sonora California can be rented for personal and community events. The antiquated but restored “Jewel of the Mother Lode” nestles into the heart of Downtown Sonora CA real estate on the western flank of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The City of Sonora offers opera house rentals through its Special Programs department at 94 N. Washington St., Sonora, CA 95370. Renting the historic Sonora property contributes its rich heritage to the ambience of any special event. The Sonora Opera Hall is popular for weddings, seminars, parties, and conferences, which can be coordinated with using space on the grounds of the city park.
Now restored to its original edifice of strength and beauty, the historic building offers unique features and amenities. For example, the Opera Hall is dressed with burgundy velvet draperies and coordinating carpet in the entrance and beautiful hardwood floors on the stage and main floor. It features handy assets such as a large kitchen, a sound system and microphones, and Wi-Fi access.
Sonora Opera Hall accommodates 400 people in theater-style seating and 200 to 254 banquet-style events.During the week, the facilities are available for $150 a day and on weekends and holidays the price is $250 per day prices are reduced for multiple days. Included in the rental are 25 eight foot tables, 56 foot tables, and over 200 chairs.
History of Sonora Opera Hall
Proceeds from the Bonanza Gold Mine in Sonora funded the building of a flour mill in in 1879 at the site of today’s Sonora Opera Hall. Under suspicious circumstances, the mill burned down in the summer of 1885 and was rebuilt as the present Opera Hall. Until December 1896, the community gathered there for plays and concerts, grand dances, the county fair, meetings, political rallies, and skating parties.
Then, rather abruptly, the local newspaper reported a decision to close the wonderful Sonora Opera Hall. “It is the source of much regret to our people to learn that the only public hall in Sonora worthy of the City’s name is to be converted into a carpenter shop and forever closed as a place for giving public exhibitions.”
Over the decades, the building was modified several times and deteriorated far from its original magnificence. Private Citizens tried to raise funds to restore the property in the early 1980s. Finally, the City of Sonora acquired it in 1986 and set wheels in motion. The restoration process was possible by utilizing historic preservation grants, redevelopment funds, and volunteer fundraisers.
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