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franklin county times

Grand Opera House opens for tours

By Staff
AS IT WAS This photograph shows in the inside of the Grand Opera House of Mississippi before the seating was removed. Submitted photo
By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
March 23, 2001
Those who want to see Meridian's famed Grand Opera House of Mississippi before renovation begins this summer can do so as the doors open Sunday for guided tours.
In recent years, few people have been inside the historic building the subject of so much news over the past year.
The board of trustees of the Grand Opera House of Mississippi is hosting the tours to raise money to cover expenses associated with the building. The group is also having a "trash and treasures sale" of items left behind in the Marks Rothenberg building.
Although the board still retains ownership over the building, the state's Institutions of Higher Learning will soon be taking over control.
When the restoration effort begins sometime this summer, Mississippi State University will officially take over the opera house and the Marks Rothenberg building. Once construction is complete, the opera house will be restored and a 38,000-square-foot arts and educational center will be located in the building for use by MSU and Meridian Community College.
Margaret Remy, president of the board, says for citizens who have never seen the opera house, it's a good chance to get a glimpse of it before restoration begins.
Tours of the building are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 25, and occur every half-hour until 5 p.m. The "trash and treasures" sale will also begin at 1 p.m. The charge for the tour is $5.
Remy says board members are hopeful the sale will do well, and that people can take home items that have some local historical significance.
Remy warns shoppers to be prepared to get down and dirty literally.
Among the items up for sale at the event will be antique chairs, clothing and signs left in the Marks Rothenberg building. Other items donated for the sale include an old piano.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at balexander@themeridianstar.com.