Pilot Point Community Opera House

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

History

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.