Historic Homestake Opera House celebrates progress on its restoration

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The Historic Homestake Opera House in Lead is one step closer to being restored to its former glory.

Black Hills FOX's Katrina Lim gives us a sneak peak on the restoration's progress.

Homestake Executive Director Sarah Carlson says, "And it brings a lot of visitors in and what's neat is they come in and they're seeing it with new eyes and all of us who have been involved and before my time and before the people before me, bringing this place back."

Homestake is almost finished with the theater's interior north and south lower walls.

To celebrate this restoration, they are inviting the public to a special orchestra concert on September 16th at 7pm at the opera house.

International film score composer Calvin Jones will be accompanied by 26 musicians from all over the Black Hills.

Sarah Carlson says, "It's a really exciting time because it's a long awaited project. It is a historic preservation project that people have been looking at for some time and now we're finally getting this color in the theater and the plaster work is coming back. It's all being replicated on site. Saturday's concert is about celebration, discovery, and recovery."

The opera house was built in 1914, but in 1984, a fire destroyed nearly all of the theater, leaving it empty for 11 years.

Sarah Carlson says, "This was built for quality of life in Lead during a time where miners were underground working and working and working and their families could come here with them and enjoy a show. They could go to a library. They could learn something in their own language. Books were shipped here from around the country - all around the world. It was built with quality of life in mind and we continue that today through arts and culture."

Their next project is repairing the stage and the angels surrounding it.

If you'd like to make a donation, visit homestakeoperahouse.org or call 605-584-2067.