This beautifully restored opera house, once home to Vaudeville, was built in 1890. The work on the building has been a labor of love–one that’s ongoing. Since I’ve been involved in historic preservation, I highly approve of those who have the vision and stamina to restore old buildings and keep them vibrant and in use in today’s world. A big plus for me is the Monticello Opera House’s support of local and regional theater.
If I still lived in North Florida, I would be an active member of this group, involved in fundraising and publicity, and grant writing. They still need to focus a bit more on ephemera, old playbills, and lists of performers to help put the building’s significance into perspective. Such work would probably require a humanities grant and a devoted intern or two for Florida State University.
The opera house is on the National Register under the name “Perkins Opera House.” The paperwork, filed in 1971, is disappointing because, unlike more recent applications, it doesn’t include “statements of significance” which would have listed historical and architectural information.
Here’s their current offering, one with a great poster:
Malcolm R. Campbell, who writes magical realism novels set in the Florida Panhandle, has also worked as a grant writer for nonprofit organizations, including a successful National Register application.