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Act Two


A potpourri of early Americana entertainment--theatrical touring companies, solo dramatic performers, minstrel shows, hypnotists and political orators--passed through the small town opera house.   The last known opera to have graced the stage of the Thorpe was presented by the Marie Bell Company of Chicago in 1898.  It is assumed that Ruth Etting appeared on the stage as well.   Alex Etting, Ruth's uncle, became the opera house owner after Mr. Thorpe lost the theater due to financial problems.


The Thorpe was used as a dance hall in the 20's, a sparring space for a local prize fighter, a basketball court in the 30's and 40's, a stage for school activities and plays and as a movie house and storage house in the 50's...and then sat empty.


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