Saturday, February 2, 2013

PROCTOR OPERA HOUSE


The front page of today's Connecticut Post Newspaper has an article regarding the once famous Sterling Opera House in Derby, CT and fundraising plans for a renovation. Bridgeport, CT, also, once had an opera theatre house, although I can find no specific information about the opera house except for press releases regarding stage performances in the 1890's which include Columbia University Library archives.  I am a graduate of Columbia University in the City of New York:  




The Proctor Opera House existed in Bridgeport, CT and was part of a chain of opera houses managed from a main office in New York City.  There is still a Proctor Theatre in Schenectady, NY (http://www.proctors.org/about/history-proctors)

One newspaper announcement and critique for a play at Bridgeport's Proctor Opera Theatre is as follows:

(REFERENCE:  SPORTING LIFE, 1890)

OF LITTLE  MERIT.
"The Bottom of the Sea'

Merely Made For
Mechanical Effects.
At Proctor's Opera House, Bridgeport, Ct.,
Aug. 25, "The Bottom of the Sea" was acted
for the first time on any stage, under that
title. It is an adaptation, by Hart Conway,
of an old French spectacle by M. Cotambert,
its original name, we believe, being "Au
Fond de la Mer." It was' produced at San
Francisco about fifteen years ago. \V. A.
Hart owns the right, and one of his troupes
is touring it. There is but little plot. Dramatic
incidents are almost entirely lacking,
except such as are created by the mechanical
contrivances and scenic effects.
Briefly told, the play deals with the wreck
of a ship, and the loss of a casket of jewels
belonging to Ernest Le Brun, who is drowned
in the marine disaster, while his daughter,
the heroine ot the play, is rescued by the gal-
Iantry of James Norton, the hero. A cousin
of Miss Le Brun , Hcnri De Sartene. is as
deeply in love with her as the hero. The two
are engaged iu Iaying an Atlantic cable. They
are jealous of each other. The cable is parted
through the maliciousness of AIexis Banalli
a Greek, who hates every one, and is anxious
to get to the bottom of the sea to recover the
lost jewels. Four men descend to the ocean's
bottom to splice the cable. The Greek discovers
the jewels, and attempts to murder
De Sartene. She throws the blame upon Norton,
who is miraculously saved by the reappearance
of the supposed dead man. The
play ends in a love feast for the good after
the guilty have received their reward."


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