Prairie Opera House
A History of the Thorpe Opera House at David City, Nebraska
By Rita M. Glass
88 pages, softcover
The Thorpe Opera House at David City, Neb., was one of many centers for cultural and social entertainment that were constructed in towns and cities across America during the 19th century. Today, it is one of a few surviving examples of a small town opera house still used for its original purpose of bringing music and theater to the people. This is a human interest account of "The Thorpe" from its construction in 1889 to its demise in the 1940s, followed by its amazing rebirth as a performance center beginning in 1981. The story of The Thorpe shows how one frontier community in the state of Nebraska responded to the need for a cultural center that was available to all. It also details the unique circumstances that led to the construction of this opera house, prompted in part by the love and devotion of a doting father. For the railroad historian, the narrative includes details of how early western railroads played a vital role in the success of both The Thorpe and many other opera houses like it.