Island Falls Opera House

The Island Falls Opera House is a historic multipurpose building at the junction of Old Patten Road, Sewall Street, and Bog Brook Road in the center of the small town of Island Falls, Maine. Built in 1894, the building included retail, performance, and residential spaces, and is a type of building that was once common and is now rare in rural Maine. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.[1]

Island Falls Opera House
IslandFallsME OperaHouse.jpg
Island Falls Opera House is located in Maine
Island Falls Opera House
Island Falls Opera House is located in the United States
Island Falls Opera House
LocationPatten Rd. and Sewall St., Island Falls, Maine
Coordinates46°0′31″N 68°16′13″W / 46.00861°N 68.27028°W / 46.00861; -68.27028Coordinates: 46°0′31″N 68°16′13″W / 46.00861°N 68.27028°W / 46.00861; -68.27028
Area0.5 acres (0.20 ha)
Built1894 (1894)
ArchitectPeters, Levett; Baldwin, Henry
NRHP reference No.84001359[1]
Added to NRHPJuly 19, 1984

Description and historyEdit

The Island Falls Opera House is a large, roughly L-shaped wood frame building, which occupies a prominent lot overlooking a major intersection in the center of Island Falls. One leg of the L runs north-south, and is 2-1/2 stories in height, with a front-gable roof. The front facade has a projecting single-story section with a flat roof, behind which the second floor facade has a central Palladian-style three-part window at the center, and narrow windows flanking and in the gable above. On the side walls of this section there are three bays, most with narrow sash windows, then a repeat of the Palladian-style windows, which are topped by cross-gables at the roof line, and then additional bays with narrow sash windows. The rear section of the building has a gable roof running east-west and is 3-1/2 stories in height.[2]

The interior of the southern leg originally had a general store and the theater entrance on the ground floor. The store section still retains original wooden counters and shelving, while the theater lobby has the original ticket booth. The theater occupies most of the upper levels of the building, and includes original seating and wall decorations. The lower sections of the rear portion have a living area that has retained original woodwork, including a stairway with an elaborate newell post, and a decorative arch leading into the parlor.[2]

The hall was built in 1894 by Columbus Lamb Pettengill and his son on land purchased from W. W. Sewall, a major local landowner, whose deeds of sale disallowed the sale of alcohol. The performance venue was a major local entertainment space, and was adapted for the showing of motion pictures in the 1920s.[2] The property now stands vacant.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. November 2, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "NRHP nomination for Island Falls Opera House". National Park Service. Retrieved 2015-03-11.