Central City Opera House

The 1878 Central City Opera House built by Welsh and Cornish miners is the most recognized of Central City Opera’s historic properties within Central City / Black Hawk National Landmark Historic District. The Opera House is known for its elaborately frescoed ceiling, its perfect acoustics, and the names of Colorado pioneer families and notables of the American stage and opera carved on the backs of the seats, names such as Horace Tabor, Buffalo Bill, Beverly Sills, and Lillian Gish. These memorials were transferred from the old hickory chairs when modern theater seating was installed in 1999. Today, the Central City Opera House is the perfect blend of jewel box theater splendor and contemporary comfort. Public tours of the historic Central City Opera House are available through the Gilpin History Museum at Washington Hall; please call 303-582-5848 for tour availability.


When it opened its doors in 1872, the Teller House was the most opulent hotel between Chicago and San Francisco. Rooms cost $2 a night at a time when the going rate was 50 cents. Though no longer used as a hotel, the Teller House is the center for opera-related activities, such as receptions, recitals, a gift shop. It also houses the famous Face Bar with the “Face on the Barroom Floor” and classical murals on the surrounding walls. Located next door to the Opera House, the Teller House is also a living museum of Victorian artifacts and furniture once belonging to Baby Doe Tabor and Governor John Evans. Guided tours of the Teller House and the Opera House are offered through the Gilpin Historical Society, starting from Washington Hall directly across the street from the Teller House.


Built in 1876, Williams Stables was a full-service livery for the guests of the Teller House across the street. The Opera House Association purchased Williams Stables from the City of Central in 1953, and turned it into an intimate ninety-seat venue used for rehearsals, performances of short works of opera, and free pre-performance discussions known as Opera Notes.


Central City Opera also owns and maintains 25 other historic buildings built in Central City between 1860 and 1900. These properties, which fall outside of the Central City gaming district, have been the Association’s responsibility since 1932. They house company operations, performers and technicians during the summer opera festival. Learn more about our commitment to historic preservation.