• The Gage Hotel – Marathon, Texas

    Gage Hotel
  • Bullion Plaza School – Miami, Arizona

    Bullion Plaza School
  • Hotel El Capitan – Van Horn, Texas

    Hotel El Capitan
  • Val Verde Hotel – Socorro, New Mexico

    Val Verde Hotel
  • The Owls Club – Tucson, Arizona

    Owls Club
  • El Paso High School – El Paso, Texas

    El Paso High School
  • Trost Residence – El Paso, Texas

    Trost Residence
  • Albuquerque High School – Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Albuquerque High School
  • University of Texas El Paso – El Paso, Texas

    University of Texas El Paso

Bisbee Opera House
Bisbee, Arizona


Description: Bisbee Opera House
Other Names:
Address: hillside south of the proposed new Copper Queen Library Bisbee, Cochise County, Arizona
Type: theatre
Original Client: A. L. Mahanan and Bisbee Opera House company
Historic Inventory:
Date: 1906-07
Condition: extant

Architect or Firm: Henry C. Trost
Associated Architect or Firm: Frederick C. Hurst
Dimensions and Orientation: two stories 80×160 feet; mission style; 56 feet high above the stage.
Budget/Cost: $30,000

Wall Materials:
Roofing Materials:
Other Materials Used:
Remodeling and Additions:

Present Owner:
Location of Drawings: none known to exist
Location of Documentary Photographs:

Bibliography: (1) A rendering, credited to Henry C. Trost and Frederick C. Hurst, was published in: Bisbee Daily Review, July 12 1906, page 1
(2) Tom Vaughan, Bisbee’s Transition Years: 1899-1918, volume 14, number 4 (Winter, 1984), page 24
(3) Copper Queen To Add to Big Store, Bisbee Daily Review, February 28, 1906, page 6. This spring a new opera house will be built by Manahan & Co. It will be erected on the bluff just back of the library. A subscription paper has already been circulated. The new opera house is to be built on modern plans, and will be one of the nicest in this part of the country.
(4) To Begin Theater within Two Weeks, Bisbee Daily Review, April 17, 1906, page 3: A.L. Manahan, who has plans all made to erect a $20,000 theater in this city on grounds above the library building, stated yesterday that work on the building will begin within the next two weeks. Manahan is about ready to call the first meeting of those interested with him in the enterprise. It is his intention after work starts to push it to completion as fast as possible.
(5) Bisbee Daily Review February 9, 1907 page 8 mention of Trost & Trost returning the plans
(6) Bisbee Daily Review, July 23, 1907 page 5 talks about the building and Hurst as the architect
(7) Bisbee Daily Review, February 12, 1907, page 7 ‘Bisbee to Have another New Theater
(8) Bisbee Daily Review, April 13, 1906 page 3 El Paso Architect
(9) Bisbee Daily Review, April 17, 1906 page 3 ‘To begin on theater within two weeks’
(10) Bisbee Daily Review, July 12, 1906 page 1 drawing of the building

In April of 1906, A.L. Manahan made plans to erect a $30,000 theater in Bisbee. The location for the theater was to be erected on the hillside south of the proposed new Copper Queen Library building.

In 1907, the Bisbee Opera House Company was incorporated under the law of the Territory of Arizona with a capitalization of $20,000. The stockholders in the corporation were M.J. Cunningham, Dr. F.E. Shine, B.M. Pattison, J.H. Nolan, W.J. Eddlemann, Harry Duey, Fred Sutter, A.G. Pohnodorf, C.E. Rinehart, L.W. Powell, F.R. Harrington, Scott Whaley and others. A.L. Manahan, manager of the present Opera House, was to be the manager of the new one.

In February, “the capital stock was fully paid in and everything was ready for the construction of the building as soon as the plans were returned from the firm of Trost & Trost, architects, of El Paso” stated M.J. Cunningham treasurer of the company.

The new theater was to be built in a mission style. The building was to measure 80X160 and be 56 feet high above the stage. The modern theater was to have a orchestra, a balcony, box seats and was to seat between 1200 to 1500 people. It was to be lighted by electricity and heated by steam. The stage portion of the new theater was to be sixty feet wide and thirty-five feet deep. There was ten large dressing rooms in which there was to be running water, heat and lights.

The plans for the structure were drawn by architect F.H. Hurst. Careful provisions were made against the danger from fire. Thirty-six feet exits were provided, and 150 feet of fire hose were kept in the building for emergencies. During the performance a large ice cooler was placed on the floor, and ice water was to be passed to the audience during each performance. Lavatories were placed in convenient locations and mirrors and other facilities were provided for the ladies.

F.H. Hurst was the architect for the building of the theater. Trost roll in the design of the theater is not clear. Perhaps a consulting architect or the architect?

Prepared for the El Paso Public Library by Lloyd C. and June F. Engelbrecht under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, 1990.