The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963 Page: 43

This periodical is part of the collection entitled: Southwestern Historical Quarterly and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the Texas State Historical Association.

View a full description of this periodical.

Plays alid Players at Pillot's
Opera fouse
JOSEPH S. GALLEGLY
E UGENE PILLOT'S ANNOUNCEMENT ON JANUARY 17, 1879, that
he had bought and would "refit, refurnish, and rechristen"
the old Perkins' Opera House was welcome news to
Houston theatre-goers. Since the burning of the splendid city-hall-
opera house three years before, there had been a dearth of stage
entertainment in the city. Pillot was described in the city directory
of 1879 simply as a capitalist; he was later to admit that he knew
nothing about theatrical promotion. What Houston needed at the
time was a man who was willing to spend enough money to fit
out and manage a respectable playhouse-even if he would not
furnish a new building. Pillot's proposal would at least satisfy
these modest requirements.
The renovated Perkins' Opera House would have a new audi-
torium, a dress circle for ladies, and a parquet for gentlemen ac-
companied by ladies. Eight hundred opera chairs had been ordered
to replace the antiquated benches of these sections. The upper
gallery was to be rebuilt, and a "sunlight" put in the center of
the new ceiling. The stage would be enlarged-an essential change
-with new dressing-rooms, scenery and curtains. E. J. Duhamel
was named as the architect, and Charles Evans, well-known scenic
artist of Galveston, would do the decorating. The whole project
as it was first planned would cost close to $8,ooo. Pillot declared
that he would have one of the costliest drawing room theatres in
the Southwest. The proposed playhouse was to be under his per-
sonal managment, and it was his intention to send a business man-
iThis building was also referred to as the Academy of Music, although only
the auditorium, on the second floor, was used for theatrical purposes. A description
of the structure is given in an encyclopedia of the period:
The city hall and market house of brick, just finished [1874] at a cost of $4oo,ooo,
is 272 ft. long by 146 ft. wide, and has two towers, 14 by 2i ft. and 114 ft. high.
It contains a hall, 70 by 11o ft, fitted up for public entertainments and capable of
seating 1,3oo persons. American Cyclopedia (New York, 1873-1876), IX, 15.

Upcoming Pages

Here’s what’s next.

58 of 684
59 of 684
60 of 684
61 of 684

Show all pages in this issue.

This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.

Citing and Sharing

Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.

Reference the current page of this Periodical.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963, periodical, 1963; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/m1/57/ocr/: accessed September 27, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.