Metropolitan Opera House



Grand Forks’ New Opera House.  Special to the Globe.  Grand Forks, Dak., July 29. – The Grand Forks Opera House company was organized to-day.  Twenty thousand dollars stock was subscribed.  Work will be commenced to-morrow on the new building, which will cost $40,000.  (The Saint Paul Daily Globe, Tuesday Morning, July 30, 1889, Volume XI, Number 211, Page 4)

Opera House.  Organization of Company Completed Last Evening.  The opera house stock holders held a meeting at Geo. A. Batchelder’s office last evening and completed their organization.  The following board of directors were elected:  S. S. Titus, John Birkholz, Geo. A. Batchelder, Geo. B. Winship, E. J. Lander and Burke Corbet.  At a meeting of the directors, officers were elected as follows:  President – S. S. Titus, Vice President – Geo. B. Winship, Secretary – Burke Corbet, Treasurer – Geo. A. Batchelder.  It was decided to purchase the property as soon as possible and proceed with the erection of the opera house.  (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Tuesday Evening, July 30, 1889, Volume XV, Number 28, Page 4)

Also (the Field, Mahler & Co. of Minneapolis/St. Paul) have just contracted for the new opera house at Grand Forks, N. D., against Chicago, St. Paul and Minneapolis competition…  (The Saint Paul Daily Globe, Sunday Morning, September 14, 1890, Volume XII, Number 257, Page 5)

Grand Forks Opera House Opened.  Special to the Globe.  Grand Forks, N. D., Nov. 10. – The new grand opera house was opened tonight by the Emma Abbott company.  The receipts for the evening were $7,000.  Gov. Miller, in a very neat speech, christened the opera house the “Metropolitan.”  The building cost $83,000, and is furnished throughout in the most elegant manner.  (The Saint Paul Daily Globe, Tuesday Morning, November 11, 1890, Volume XII, Number 315, Page 1)

John Dinnie.  Brick Contractor and Manufacturer.  In visiting the Metropolitan opera house one cannot fail to observe that the strength and beauty of the building is due chiefly to the brick work.  The uniformity of color certainly is the attraction of the exterior view.  The committee examined samples of all the bricks to be obtained in this section and after careful consideration came to the conclusion that to produce the desired color and effect the best bricks manufactured were by Mr. John Dinnie.  After this decision, an examination was made of the various buildings and Mr. Dinnie was chosen as builder.  A view of the completed building certainly commends the decision of the committee.  The contractor familiarly called Jack, was born in Dundas county, Ont., nine years ago he came to Dakota an ‘tis claimed $15 was his worldly possession at that time.  This, however, gave him no uneasiness, being endowed with wonderful ambition and an indomitable will, he applied himself closely to business.  A thorough understanding coupled with an ever increasing popularity served to not only give him plenty of work but wealth.  Three years ago he established a brick yard here, which is now being filled with a new plant of the latest improved machinery and next spring our city can well boast of the finest brick yard in Dakota.  During the nine years Mr. Dinnie has been with us, it is claimed he has realized fortune.  He is one of the large stockholders of the opera house, and recognized as one of Grand Forks leading citizens – worthy of esteem and respected by all citizens.  (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Tuesday Evening, November 11, 1890, Volume XX, Number 9, Page 1)

The Metropolitan.  Unfounded Rumors Current Concerning the Safety of Its Roof.  For several days past reports have been assiduously circulated by parties who have thus far successfully concealed their identity, as to the safety of the opera house roof – some averring that it was in a dangerous condition and liable to fall in at any moment, a statement utterly absurd and without any foundation in fact.  The Opera house company has been aware for several days that a few of the iron bolts in the trusses were loose, caused by the shrinkage of the timber, but at no time has the roof been in a dangerous condition.  Yesterday W. S. Russell, city engineer, whose reputation as a practical mechanic and conscientious gentleman is above reproach in this community, made an examination of the roof, caused the bolts to be tightened, and a few minor safeguards added, and asserts that in his opinion the roof is perfectly safe.  Here is his report:  Grand Forks, N. D., Aug. 3rd, 1891.  To the Grand Forks Opera House Co.  Gentlemen:  Pursuant to your request I have made an examination of the trusses supporting the roof of the opera house, and find a deflection of the chords, caused from the shrinkage of the timbers loosening the bolts; these bolts have been tightened and a few minor items added, which, in my opinion, render them perfectly safe.  Very respectfully, W. S. Russell.  Architect Fisk, who superintended the construction of the building, also made an examination, and scouts at the idea of danger being feared.  Mr. Art Turner, the well known builder, also thoroughly examined the trusses yesterday, and confirms the opinions expressed by Messrs. Russell and Fisk.  He tightened the bolts and made such repairs as was suggested by Mr. Russell, and avers that the roof is perfectly safe.  The parties who have maliciously circulated these reports, thereby causing needless alarm, deserve the severest censure of the public.  (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Tuesday Morning, August 4, 1891, Volume XX, Number 225, Page 5)

A party of ladies from Detroit, Michigan, was shown through the theatre yesterday.  One lady stated that although Detroit had a larger theatre none could compare with the Metropolitan as far as beauty and tastefulness of decorations were concerned.  (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Tuesday Morning, August 25, 1891, Volume XX, Number 239, Page 5)

Grand Forks Delighted.  Gopher University Boys’ Concert a Great Success.  Special to The Journal.  Grand Forks, N. D., April 14. – The opera-house seldom has contained a larger or a more enthusiastic audience than assembled on the occasion of the concert given by the University of Minnesota Glee and Mandolin club.  From the opening number by the mandolin club to the closing number by the combined clubs, the audience was delighted.  The genuine college spirit which was put into every number was very marked and the music itself was very tuneful.  Walker M. Brown principal soloist of the glee club, responded to four encores.  The concert was under the auspices of the Federation of Women’s clubs of this city for the benefit of the public library which is $100 better off as a result.  The members of the concert clubs were entertained Saturday afternoon at a reception given by the university students at Davis hall and again by the Federation at the Pioneer club.  The clubs left for Winnipeg where they appear to-night.  (The Minneapolis Journal, Monday Evening, April 14, 1902, Page 9)

C. P. Walker, the Manager, Will Offer Fine Attractions During the Winnipeg Exposition.  Those who visit Winnipeg during the forthcoming exposition and fair will do well to attend the Walker Theater, Winnipeg’s finest “show house.”  This elegant theater cost $3000,000 ($300,000) and is one of the very best houses of the entire country.  Other theaters have cost more money but there is doubt if any theater in North America is more conveniently arranged as regards ventilation, heat, light, etc.  The Walker theater is owned by the Walker Theater company, of which C. P. Walker, well known in this city, is the manager.  Mr. Walker is the proprietor of famous “Bread Basket” theater circuit, which includes the Walker Theater at Winnipeg; Metropolitan Theater at Grand Forks, N. D.; Fargo opera house, Crookston and the Brainerd opera house.  He handles nothing but the best shows and especially for the Walker theater he books some very rare collections.  (The Bemidji Daily Pioneer, Tuesday Evening, July 7, 1908, Volume 6, Number 67, Page 1)


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