Grand Opera House
Address: 102 James St. N
"This first-class theatre building, which opened in 1880, was constructed for $25,000. The architect George H. Lalor spared no expense on the building, which drew international stars to its stage. The Opera House attracted such crowds that it underwent several overhauls and expansions in ensuing years. But by the 1930s, interest had begun to wane. Finally, it was shuttered in 1961. Today, the site contains a strip mall."
Hamilton Spectator. "Vanished Hamilton: A litany of loss." Hamilton Spectator. 17 Feb. 2013,
"Based on a theatre design of an existing theatre in Toronto, the Grand Opera House opened to the public on November 29, 1880. It had cost $25,000 and was a combination of Gothic and Eastlake styles. The theatre was designed to seat 1,169 people. Many famous acts appeared at the Grand Opera House including comedians, tragedians, ballerinas, opera stars to name only a few.
It was one of the houses on the Vaudeville circuit between Buffalo and Toronto so it was always busy. As Vaudeville declined as the movies flourished the Grand Opera House also declined. In 1926 a fire destroyed the stage, scenery, orchestral equipment and fly-gallery. From the 1930s onward it was in a steady decline as a live venue and was turned into a movie theatre. It became the Grand in 1937, the Granada in 1937 and the Downtown Theatre in 1951. The building was finally closed on November 1, 1961 and demolished."
"Grand Opera House Interior". Flickr, Hamilton Public Library, 15 May 2013,