Beneath a skin of steel,
Sleeps an Opera House once real.
This old house we will revive
To bring our historic square alive.
Our talents, coins and sweat, we give,
So performing arts, again may live.
Little Nell's Dilemma by Ken Brixey was presented on April 17th -18th 2008, at the Pilot Point Community Opera House
Preservation of the
Pilot Point Community Opera House
In the 19th century, pioneering men and women came to this untamed
region of Texas bordering the blackland prairie and post oak savannah
areas. A town was platted, a prosperous community grew, and a town
square developed that included the building of the local Opera House.
Years later, as the Opera House fell on hard times, the second story of
the building was removed, and the structure repurposed. Yet the lower
floor of the stone building remained intact. Located on the west side
of the Square in Pilot Point, the structure has seen many incarnations
throughout its ensuing 115 years. Beneath the current obscuring white
metal siding, the first floor of the original 1894 Pilot Point Opera
House still remains.
It was the dream and farsightedness of three local men that this
building should be preserved for future generations. The idea to save
and protect this historical asset, acquire the property, and restore
the building to its original purpose was the vision of Darrell Alesse,
David Delcourt, and Howard Kimble. Their leadership and inspiration led
to a small group of citizens, meeting in 2007, to pursue the
feasibility of acquiring this significantly unique property.
The effort of the group to incorporate as a Texas non-profit
organization named the Pilot Point Community Opera House and elect
officers was pursued and completed during the fall of 2007, with a
contract to purchase the historical property completed in March, 2008.
The continuing goal of this non-profit organization is to raise the
substantial amount of money necessary to pay off the mortgage for this
building so that restoration and preservation of this unique historical
structure can continue.
The mission of the Pilot Point Opera House is to provide a community
facility that will not only promote theater and performing arts, but
will provide an educational and entertainment venue within the
community for the benefit of all. This is the same role that the Opera
House originally played during its “hey day”. To this task, two
melodramas as well as 14 Friday/Saturday night musical events were held
during the past year.
Pilot Point, platted in 1855, is very fortunate that much of its 19th
century Square remains intact. Most area towns are not so lucky. This
building, which has stood for over 100 years, was once the heart of
this community and is a most essential part of Pilot Point’s heritage.
It was where the old-timers went for entertainment, for public town
hall meetings, to catch up on the local happenings, and to see and to
be seen! It is the history and past life of this community, still
intact, that can be passed on to future generations. And even though
traffic whizzes past on Hwy 377, this historical building on The Square
still stands as a sentinel of a slower, gentler era that has shaped
what this community is, and who its inhabitants are, and what future
generations can be.
In 2008, Pilot Point was designated to the United States National
Register of Historic Trusts. The historical value of The Opera House
building to Pilot Point within the above named Historic Trust is
irreplaceable. According to the book, Grand Old Texas Theaters by Hall
and Hasbrook, the Pilot Point Opera House ranks as the 5th oldest. We
must save this historic building as part of our heritage.
The effort to preserve this community landmark requires every citizen
in Pilot Point to understand the importance and need for your financial
support. A major financial obligation is due soon. Please help rebuild
this facility by contributing now. Tax-deductible contributions and
gifts may be mailed to Pilot Point Community Opera House, P.O. Box
1363, Pilot Point, TX 76258. For additional information, please call
940 686 0737.