Derby Walking Tour

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5.) Sterling Opera House (Elizabeth St.)

The Sterling Opera House is located across from the Derby Green on Elizabeth St. It was built in 1889. The lower floor of the opera house was once used as Derby’s City Hall and the theater was located on the second floor. The building’s style is Italianate Victorian. The auditorium is known for its fantastic acoustics. The Sterling was designed by H.E. Ficken. The building has a 60-by-34 ft.stage, there are two piano boxes on either side of the stage, 10 dressing rooms, an orchestra pit, and a triangular seating arrangement so everyone can see the stage without any problem. The theater was known for its excellent acoustics.

Many performers appeared at the Sterling like Harry Houdini, Alice Fisher, Lionel Barrymore, and Grace George. Amelia Earhart addressed the Women’s Club in 1936.

The theater is not in operation at this time, however, the city is in the process of trying to decide what to do with the building.

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