Lucille Ball Little Theatre
18 E. Second Street,
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Architects: Victor A. Rigaumont
Functions: Live Theatre
Previous Names: Allen's Opera House, Samuel's Opera House, Shea's Theatre, Park Theatre, Little Theatre
Allen’s Opera House opened on September 3, 1874, but the original building was destroyed by fire in 1881. The house was rebuilt by the original owner, Abner E. Allen, but financial losses due to another fire in 1894 resulted in the sale of the house to Charles Samuels in 1898.
The theatre operated as the Samuels Opera House until being taken over by the Shea circuit in 1919. It was extensively rebuilt in 1927 to the plans of architect Victor A. Rigaumont. It operated as Shea’s Theatre until the early-1960’s, though in its later years it was operated by the Dipson circuit.
The house had been dark for several years when it was obtained by the Jamestown Little Theatre group in 1968. The house was reopened as The Little Theatre on April 19, 1969. After the death of actress and Jamestown native Lucille Ball, the house was renamed in her honor, being rededicated as the Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown on May 24, 1991.
In its earlier years, the house had seated about 1,800, but the interior had suffered severe deterioration during the years it was vacant, and Jamestown Little Theatre chose to build a smaller auditorium within the gutted shell, and it now seats 400.
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