:: Loring Opera House and Theatre Program Collection 1890 - 1923

Introduction

In its heyday, the Loring Opera House was one of the finest in California. Its ornate boxes and fine appointments made it a little gem among theatres in an age when the living stage had a larger place in cultivated taste. It opened with Gilbert & Sullivan's Iolanthe on 8 January 1890. It was a stop for many of the major theatrical road productions.

Among the many who trod its boards were Helena Modjeska, Anna Pavlova, Frederick Warde, James O'Neill, Julia Marlowe, Richard Mansfield, Sarah Bernhardt, Joseph Jefferson, Lillian Russell, William Gillette, John Philip Sousa and W.C. Fields. Among those who sat in the house were King Kalakaua of Hawaii, and sugar king John D. Spreckels.

A detailed index should be available online through the Riverside Local History Research Center, sometime in the near future. Searchable fields will be as follows: Title of the production, Who was involved, Dates (when available), What the item is, and Misc. having to do with interesting details.

This could be used as a valuable genealogical tool, as names of producers, directors, and featured performers (occasionally the first few cast members) are included. The inclusion of the advertising was foregone as the proprietors names ceased to be used. Further indexing of the remaining cast members is suggested, as is publication upon completion.

Recently added to the collection, supplied by San Bernardino County Archives, were copies of the Articles of Incorporation for the Loring Opera House, Series II / Folder 1 and Superior Court Case #4188, San Francisco Theological Seminary Corp. vs. Loring Opera House and The City of Riverside, Series II / Folder 2 - Legal Documents

History

The Loring Opera House Company was formed and the Articles of Incorporation were drawn and signed on June 7 th, 1889. C.M. Loring provided capital of twenty-five thousand dollars and S. C. Evans contributed another five thousand to the project. By October 18, 1890 the 7 member Board of Directors voted to take out a loan and pay Loring and Evans back. Then in November of 1891, the Loring Opera House was involved in a Superior Court case having to do with the San Francisco Theological Seminary. This went on until April 12, 1892. With well over 400 performances at the Loring Opera House over this 30+ year span, the collection contributes valuable insight to the history of entertainment and life in Riverside.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of programs, handbills and clippings relating to performances at the Loring. There are about 449 of these. Vault box #6 with three Series, 45 folders and 452 items. It has been indexed by folder number. The records date from 1889 through 1923.

The Loring Opera House consists of 1 linear foot in one box.

Series Description

Dates now range from 1889, due to the addition of the Loring Opera House Articles of Incorporation. The San Bernardino County Archives, graciously provided a copy of the document. The collection of programs, in various formats, extends into 1923. The folders are in chronological order, in three series.

Series I - Programs and Handbills

Folder 1 Loring Opera House Programs - 1890

Folder 2 Loring Opera House Programs - 1892

Folder 3 Loring Opera House Programs - 1894

Folder 4 Loring Opera House Programs - 1895

Folder 5 Loring Opera House Programs - 1896

Folder 6 Loring Opera House Programs - 1897

Folder 7 Loring Opera House Programs - 1898

Folder 8 Loring Opera House Programs - 1899

Folder 9 Loring Opera House Programs - 1900

Folder 10 Loring Opera House Programs - 1901

Folder 11 Loring Opera House Programs - 1902 - Jan/Feb

Folder 12 Loring Opera House Programs - 1902 - Mar/Apr

Folder 13 Loring Opera House Programs - 1902 - May/Sep

Folder 14 Loring Opera House Programs - 1902 - Oct

Folder 15 Loring Opera House Programs - 1902 - Nov/Dec

Folder 16 Loring Opera House Programs - 1903 - Jan/May

Folder 17 Loring Opera House Programs - 1903 - Sep/Oct

Folder 18 Loring Opera House Programs - 1903 - Nov/Dec

Folder 19 Loring Opera House Programs - 1904

Folder 20 Loring Opera House Programs - 1905

Folder 21 Loring Opera House Programs - 1906

Folder 22 Loring Opera House Programs - 1907

Folder 23 Loring Opera House Programs - 1908

Folder 24 Loring Opera House Programs - 1909

Folder 25 Loring Opera House Programs - 1910

Folder 26 Loring Opera House Programs - 1911

Folder 27 Loring Opera House Programs - 1912

Folder 28 Loring Opera House Programs - 1913

Folder 29 Loring Opera House Programs - 1914

Folder 30 Loring Opera House Programs - 1915

Folder 31 Loring Opera House Programs - 1919

Folder 32 Loring Opera House Programs - 1920

Folder 33 Loring Opera House Programs - 1921

Folder 34 Loring Opera House Programs - 1922

Folder 35 Loring Opera House Programs - 1923

Folder 36 Loring Opera House Programs - [ND]

Folder 37 Loring Opera House Programs - [ND]

Folder 38 Loring Opera House Programs - [ND]

Folder 39 Loring Opera House Programs - [ND]

Folder 40 Loring Opera House Programs - [ND]

Folder 41 Loring Opera House Programs - [ND]

Series II - Legal Documents

Folder 1 Loring Opera House Articles of Incorporation - 1899

Folder 2 San Francisco Theological Seminary vs. Loring Opera House - 1891/1892

Series III - Miscellaneous

Folder 1 Agents Guide - [ND]

Folder 2 Loring Opera House Programs - Photocopies

Related Collections

Vertical Files in Local History area.

References

San Bernardino County Archives, Articles of Incorporation and Superior Court Records.


Local History