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The historic Mauch Chunk Opera House is one of America’s oldest vaudeville theaters, in operation after more than 135 years.

Nestled between lush intersecting mountains along the Lehigh River, the Mauch Chunk Opera House stands out as one of the largest structures in the picturesque Victorian village of Jim Thorpe, PA.

Located just 2 hours west of NYC, 1.5 hours north of Philadelphia, and a short drive from the Lehigh Valley, you won’t have to go far to be far away.

Built in 1881 adjacent to what was then known as Millionaire’s Row, the concert hall was a whistlestop for emerging vaudeville stars, as well as a popular gathering location for dignitaries, merchants, and politicians.

Today, the Mauch Chunk Opera House seats approximately 380, and is one of the northeast’s premiere listening spaces and most intimate concert venues. All seats are close to the show, and, afterwards, we encourage you to stick around, enjoy the people and the space, and meet the artist after the show.

An historic structure, it undergoes continuous renovation, having recently received new seating, a new steel roof, revamped sound and stage lighting, major electrical improvements, interior and exterior repainting, and extensive lobby / gallery remodeling.

And the improvements continue, so that we can continue to present you the finest year-round entertainment, ranging from classic rock and jazz to bluegrass, folk, theater, and special events – shows for every customer and taste.

Planning on coming to a show?
Visit the Jim Thorpe Tourism Agency @ www.jimthorpe.org for accommodations, dining options, recreation, and more.

SEE WHO’S PLAYED THE MAUCH CHUNK

The historic Mauch Chunk Opera House is one of America’s oldest vaudeville theaters, still in operation after more than 135 years.

Nestled between lush intersecting mountains along the Lehigh River, the Mauch Chunk Opera House stands out as one of the largest structures in the picturesque Victorian village of Jim Thorpe, PA.

Located just 2 hours west of NYC, 1.5 hours north of Philadelphia, and a short drive from the Lehigh Valley, you won’t have to go far to be far away.

Built in 1881 adjacent to what was then known as Millionaire’s Row, the concert hall was a whistle-stop for emerging vaudeville stars, as well as a popular gathering location for dignitaries, merchants, and politicians.

Today, the Mauch Chunk Opera House seats approximately 380, and is one of the northeast’s premiere listening spaces and most intimate concert venues. An historic structure, it undergoes continuous renovation, having been the beneficiary of new seating, steel roof, sound and stage lighting, electrical improvements, interior and exterior repainting, and lobby / gallery enhancements.

With year-round entertainment ranging from classic rock and jazz to bluegrass, folk, theater, and special events, there are shows for every taste.

Planning on coming to show?
Visit our Tourist Agency @ www.jimthorpe.org for accommodations, recreation & more…

SEE WHO’S PLAYED THE MAUCH CHUNK

BRIEF HISTORY

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THE TIMELINE

1881 In late 1881 construction started on the then Mauch Chunk Concert Hall and was complete and open for business in early 1882. The building was designed by prominent Quaker architect, Addison Hutton. The new venue initially featured a concert hall, seating over 900 on the second floor and a farmer’s market on the first floor.

The Concert Hall was a regular stop on the vaudeville touring circuit for established stars such as Mae West, Al Jolson, John Philip Sousa, Eddy Foy, and many more.

Up until the early 1920’s  the Concert Hall brought the glitter of vaudeville to the tiny, but booming, Victorian village along the Lehigh River.  A concert hall of such grand proportions in a sparsely populated area off the beaten path was uncommon in the 19th century.

1920’s In 1927, the Comerford Amusement chain took over the theater (which had by then acquired the name, “Opera House”) and converted the interior to present silent movies, renaming it the Capitol Theater, which operated until 1962.

1960’s  with the growing attraction of multi-screen movie complexes and television in the late 50’s, the days of older single-screen movie houses were numbered.

With diminishing box office sales many movie theaters closed, as did the Capitol Theater in 1962.  The property was then purchased by a local purse factory for use as a warehouse. The once marvelous Mauch Chunk Opera House would lie dark and silent for more than a decade until its gradual re-emergence in the mid-1970’s.

1970’s In 1975, a group of local citizens formed the Mauch Chunk Historical Society and purchased the old concert hall for one dollar, saving it from the wrecking ball. Restoration started in late 1970’s whose goal was to re-purpose the space as a playhouse for local theater productions.

During the 80’s and 90’s, the Mauch Chunk Opera House was home to many local theater productions, as well as the occasional concert up until 2003, by then having already fallen on difficult financial times and in need of extensive interior and exterior repair.

2003 A local production company was founded to create a consistent schedule of events and breathe new life into the Mauch Chunk Opera House.  JTAMS Productions was founded by three Jim Thorpe residents whose love of music and the arts, musicians and singer/songwriters, Vincent DeGiosio and Christine-McGorry Degiosio, and businessman and gallery owner, Daniel Hugos, would ultimately transform the Mauch Chunk Opera House. Their mission was simply to restore the theater to its former glory as a premiere venue for top touring talent and a nationally-known center for the performing arts in the region.

TODAY the Mauch Chunk Opera House is once again the jewel of the community and a nationally-known performance venue. With a full schedule of events year-round, the Opera House attracts thousands of patrons from all over the northeast USA, and plays a vital role in the economic health of the historic downtown of Jim Thorpe.

The  Mauch Chunk Historical Society continues its efforts to renovate and maintain the historic building in order to benefit the community and visitors. To become part of the continuing effort to maintain this historic structure for generations to come, please consider becoming a member.