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The Eagle Opera House is located in Marshall, Michigan.

History

The opera house opened in April of 1870 and occupied the third floor over 147, 149, 151, 153, and 155 West Michigan Avenue. Its first production was an operetta called the "Naid Queen". The theater served the community for many years before it closed. Historians believe the theater closed following the deadly Iroquois Theater fire in Chicago, Illinois[1], where over 600 people died attempting to flee the burning building. Others suspected the closure was because of “several mysterious deaths during the shows or that a person was killed on the steps to the ticket office.[2]” Whatever the motivation, Marshall said farewell to the opera house on January 15, 1904.

The Grace Brothers Block still holds the remains of the Eagle Opera House. The entrance to the opera house was on the west side of the building and is still discernible. The opera house is occasionally featured as part of Marshall’s Forgotten Spaces tours, an exploration of the unused and seldom seen areas of downtown landmarks.

Bellairs Corpus

There is an opera house in New Zebedee that Lewis learns about shortly after moving to town (The House with a Clock in its Walls, 23). Later, along with his friend Rose Rita, Lewis is surprised to hear the opera house is reopening (The Doom of the Haunted Opera).

By the mid-1990s Brad Strickland had visited Marshall twice, taking copious notes and even visiting the old theater: "It's a spooky place, and in the years since it closed many generations of school children have snuck up there and left graffiti behind. I found one that read simply 'Lewis' and knew I was on the right track!"[3]

References

  1. A History of Marshall; Richard Carver (1993); pg.509.
  2. A History of Marshall; Richard Carver (1993); pg.510.
  3. Correspondence with Brad Strickland from the CompleatBellairs (Jan. 26, 1996).

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