Sterling Opera House! 1889
Derby! Connecticut Living Connecticuts History
They All Appeared
Sterling Opera HouseThese celebrities and others C including comedian Red Skelton, composer John Philip Sousa and dancer Donald OConnor C all appeared on the stage of the Sterling Opera House during its heyday as a vaudeville palace in Derby, Connecticut.
Renowned magician Harry Houdini once performed feats of magic and daring escapes at the Sterling. Aviatrix Amelia Earhart addressed the local Womens Club here in 1936.
Lionel BarrymoreC a legend of American theater C joined his famous relatives, John and Ethel Barrymore, in appearances at the Sterling.
Ex-heavyweight champion John L. Sullivan performed the role of Simon Legree in a Sterling Opera House production ofUncle Toms Cabin and silent film-maker D.W. Griffith was so pleased with the reception his Birth of a Nation received in Derby that he used the theater to try out several of his subsequent films before their general release.
Violinist Harry Braun rehearses for the final show staged at The Sterling. The Theater was opened in 1889 and closed in 1933. It was briefly reopened in 1966 for Brauns concert.
Photo Courtesy of the Derby Public Library (Cover Photos8 Grolier Electronic Publishing. Danbury, Ct)