Peabody Opera House
Facade of the Peabody Opera House
|Former names||Municipal Auditorium (1934-1943)
Kiel Opera House (1943-2010)
|Address||1400 Market Street
St. Louis, Missouri
|Owner||Sports Capital Partners|
|Opened||21 April 1934|
|Architect||LaBeaume and Klein|
Kiel Opera House
|Area||6.4 acres (2.6 ha)|
|NRHP Reference #||00000016|
|Added to NRHP||February 11, 2000|
The Peabody Opera House (formerly known as the Kiel Opera House) is a civic performing arts building located in St. Louis, Missouri. Founded as the Kiel Opera House, it opened in 1934 and operated until 1991, when it and the adjacent Kiel Auditorium were closed so the auditorium could be demolished and replaced by the Scottrade Center. When the auditorium was slated for demolition, the owners of the complex promised to rehabilitate the opera house as well. The owners, however, never renovated the building, instead claiming that they had fulfilled their financial obligations. In June 2009, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen voted 25–1 to subsidize the renovation and reopening of the Opera House under the direction of its new owners, Sports Capital Partners. The subsidies were funded by municipal bonds and state/federal historic tax credits. On July 12, 2010, it was announced that the name of the opera house would be changed to the Peabody Opera House, named after the company Peabody Energy. The renovation lasted for fourteen months and included the construction of a new entrance for the building.
On October 1, 2011, the Peabody Opera House opened for the first time since the $79 million renovation. The show featured personalities such as Jay Leno, Aretha Franklin, and Chuck Berry and was attended by a full house of 3,100.
On June 20, 1965, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. with Johnny Carson as the emcee (subbing for Joey Bishop who was out with a bad back) performed their only televised concert together during the heyday of the Rat Pack at The Kiel Opera House. A closed-circuit broadcast done as a fundraiser for Dismas House (the first halfway house for ex-convicts). After being thought lost for thirty years, Paul Brownstein tracked down a print of the show that had been sitting in a closet in St. Louis. It has since been broadcast on Nick at Nite (in 1998) as part The Museum of Television & Radio Showcase series and released on DVD as part of the "Ultimate Rat Pack Collection: Live & Swingin'".
On July 11, 1978, the Rolling Stones performed one sold-out show at the Kiel Opera House. Bill Graham was the tour promoter. The Stones used a stripped back, minimal stage presentation compared to previous tours with an emphasis solely on music and attitude rather than presenting a grandiose extravaganza. Because of the limited seating at such an excellent venue, fans who were unable to purchase tickets gathered outside the building before showtime in protest. A police force with dogs was needed to keep the peace.
- "Ecology of Absence: Kiel Opera House". Eco-absence.org. 2006-08-25. Retrieved 2011-10-02.
- "Peabody Opera House :: History". 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
- Staff (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "Crumbling Landmarks: The Kiel Opera House". Builtstlouis.net. 2007-01-15. Retrieved 2011-10-02.
- Tim Logan (6 June 2009). "Kiel Opera House plan wins final city approval" (PDF). St. Louis Post-Dispatch (scpworldwide.net). Retrieved 2011-12-28.
- Garrison, Chad (June 5, 2009). "Board of Aldermen Approve Subsidy for Kiel Opera House". The Riverfront Times. Blogs.riverfronttimes.com. Retrieved 2011-10-02.
- "New Life For St. Louis Landmark". Websterkirkwoodtimes.com. 1991-05-04. Retrieved 2011-10-02.
- "After 20 silent years, life returns to the Peabody Opera House | St. Louis Public Radio". News.stlpublicradio.org. 1991-05-03. Retrieved 2011-10-02.
- Kevin C. Johnson (2011-09-19). "Peabody premiere lives up to its billing". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 2011-10-02.