May 9, 1883
The Opera House Company has so far completed the new building that an opening was held on Wednesday evening, which was a grand success. Nearly four hundred people were in attendance, and as many as one hundred and fifty persons buckled on the rollers, and there was room for all. Warner's cornet band enlivened the occasion with good music, and all went merry as the wedding bells. The building is 18x100 feet, with a truss roof which leaves the floor clear of posts or columns. The entrance is arranged with two pairs of doors opening outward and on either side are rooms for ticket office, skate room and cloak room, over which is a gallery with seating room for one hundred. The north end has two doors and between them is a stage 14x40 feet, which is the band stand, and is to be fitted with curtains and scenery for theatrical and other performances. The floor, which is the main consideration for roller skating, is of hard wood, substantially made and finished with sand paper, and is pronounced the best yet by travelers and experts. An easy slat seat is built on the east side for convenience of spectators and skaters. Much credit is due John Fritz the contractor, for the prompt and workmanlike manner in which the building was constructed. Several hundred chairs are to be purchased for seats during other entertainments. The Opera House Company is composed of J.W. Broadhead, A.D. Mitchell, Oscar Summers, O. Sprague, George Ward and J.C. Kennedy. The enterprise of these gentlemen in thus giving to our city, a place of permanent and healthful amusement is highly commendable. There is no finer, more graceful and invigorating sport than roller skating. Its popularity promises to be more permanent than even its devotees anticipated. It is an art which offers a great variety of attractions and possibilities for personal skill and enjoyment. Young ladies and gentlemen can meet for the pleasure found in a delightful and innocent exercise. Business and professional men will improve the opportunity for enjoyment, society and noble exercise from which they are so often debarred. The heated ball room and all questionable resorts for amusement will be deserted for the skating rink, where all can meet for a hearty diversion at a trifling cost. There may exist some maudlin sentimentality which is opposed to this amusement, but the larger and better class of our citizens will rejoice that a healthful attractive and unobjectionable form of recreation has now been introduced.