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Scotts Bluff, Nebraska

Marquis Opera House

Marquis Opera House
Marquis Opera House
Rick Myers, Scottsbluff Star-Herald

Constructed from 1909 to 1910 in the heart of Scottsbluff’s business district, the Marquis Opera House illustrates the hopes of pioneer entrepreneurs that the community would support a town opera house.  One of the first buildings on Main Street, the Victorian building utilized an “opera house block” style that was popular for opera houses in Nebraska during this time period. In accord with the “opera house block” style, it was originally two-stories, but gave the appearance of three stories on the exterior. The lower level of the building had a design that incorporated retail and office space, while the upper floor held the opera house auditorium. In 1916, the building was extensively remodeled.  A third floor was added, and the exterior was altered to produce the stucco Neoclassical character that the building exhibits today.

Lewis and Lulu Marquis constructed the building in partnership with C.R. Inman. The opera house was never a financial success. In 1936, Wade Flynn purchased and renamed the opera house the Flynn Building. Flynn divided the interior of the building into individual units to create additional retail and office space. Though the building never succeeded in its intended function, the construction reflects the courage of frontier entrepreneurs who leveraged large amounts of capital to create lavish, culturally significant buildings in rural Nebraska towns in the hope that the towns would flourish.

Plan your visit

The Marquis Opera House is located at 1601-1603 Broadway in Scottsbluff, NE. The building currently houses a retail shop and is partially vacant. The retail shop is open to the public, but the building is not open for tours.

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