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Rich in History

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1860s until 1920s

Famous for famous stars

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From the 1860s until 1920s, Piper’s Opera House attracted famous stars from Europe and the United States and is listed by the League of Historic Theaters. It is one of the most significant vintage theaters on the West Coast.

1920

Condemned

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The opera house was condemned in 1920 and went dark for 20 years.

1940

House opens as a museum

House opens as a museum

In 1940 the family reopened the house as a museum.

1960s

Significant restorations

Significant restorations

Significant restoration was done in the late 1960s by Louise Zimmer Driggs (Piper’s great granddaughter).

1970s

Opera House reopens

Opera House reopens

In the 1970s, Mrs. Zimmer again reopened the opera house and maintained an active theater and summer concert series through the mid-1980s.

Mid 1980s

Forced to close again

Forced to close again

Mid 1980s family finances and wear and tear on the building forced them to finally close the house.

1997

Piper/Zimmer family sells opera house

Piper/Zimmer family sells opera house

In 1997, the Piper/Zimmer family sold the opera house to Piper’s Opera House Programs, Inc., a nonprofit organization established to purchase the opera house. Archeological digs were funded by several sources and restructuring of foundation support were conducted.

1999

Reopens as a working museum, again

Reopens as a working museum, again

In 1999, Piper’s Opera House was again reopened as a working museum. Restoration of the grand old structure continues with grant funding and public tours supporting the daily operations of the House.

Present

Fully-functioning Performing Arts Center

Fully-functioning Performing Arts Center

Today Piper’s Opera House is a fully-functioning and sought after Performing Arts Center. Theatrical performances, concerts, non-profit events and more continue to keep this historic house alive.

Storey County purchased Piper’s Opera House in 2017 from the Storey County School District. It is managed by the Virginia City Tourism Commission and is a 501c3 non-profit organization.