The Texas Historian, Volume 43, Number 1, September 1982 Page: 1
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FADED ECHOES: A HISTORY OF
THE WRIGHT OPERA HOUSE
by CLARE ADKINS
Congress Junior High School, Denton
TODAY THE TREE-FILLED SQUARE around the
courthouse in Denton is usually quiet, aban-
doned by most people for the shopping centers
on the outskirts of town. Yet, in an earlier day
the square was bustling: it was the center
of town life. A modern visitor would scarcely
glance at the unimposing building on the
northeast corner of the square, now housing
an office supply firm. But around 1900 the
building was larger, grander, and the pride of
Denton-the Wright Opera House.
In the early days of Denton there was no
central gathering place for public entertain-
ment. Many churches held monthly camp
meetings, lively occasions which were for
socializing as much as for religion. Well-to-
do citizens frequently entertained neighbors
with dances in their homes. In 1868, for ex-
ample, the local newspaper reported, "the
gay and festive youth of Denton tripped the
Light Fantastic to the tune of the violin and
lute and went home with gals in the morn-
ing." Church groups and other organizations
also enlivened the local scene with plays pre-
sented in larger homes or rented halls. In
1878-1879, a local company staged a temper-
The Wright Opera House circa 1900. All photographs courtesy of author.
,,, . ..-*c- - c.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Texas Historian, Volume 43, Number 1, September 1982, periodical, September 1982; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth391267/m1/3/: accessed December 9, 2022), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.