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Piper’s Opera House

Located in historic Virginia City, Piper’s Opera House is an experience all its own. Dating back to the 1860s, it is listed by the League of Historic Theaters and once attracted famous stars from the United States and internationally. It has been called one of the most significant vintage theaters on the west coast.

The opera house was built on D Street in Virginia City in 1863 by Thomas Maguire, a man well-known for his influences in San Francisco theaters. In 1867, John Piper purchased Maguire’s Opera House and renamed it Piper’s Opera House. He filled it with renowned acts of the day, including Mark Twain, who delivered a lecture from its stage.

The Great Fire of 1875 incinerated Piper’s Opera House. Not easily deterred, John Piper began building a new opera house. Completed in 1878, the ornate, deluxe theatre cost $40,000…about $900,000 today. For the next five years, John Piper provided the Comstock with entertainment ranging from Shakespeare to burlesque.

Today, the opera house plays its role once again as a leading performing arts center for the region hosting plays, musicals, concerts and other custom events such as weddings, group functions, dances and parties.

Experience the grandeur of Piper’s Opera House up close and personal during one of its weekly tours offered from April to October. Days and hours vary. Tickets are available for purchase at Piper’s Opera House or the Virginia City Visitors Center.

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