What Cheer Opera House, What Cheer

What Cheer Opera House is a historic landmark, built in 1893 by all local Masons, which were essential for the building of the Opera House. It was used as a venue for meeting, community betterment and entertainment. The Opera House has been open continuously since the first major renovation by the newly formed Board of Volunteers in 1965! The Opera House is run by a volunteer board who are guided by committee’s and committee chairpersons. Each member has listened to the community in what they want out of the venue and has been vital in the promotion of the Opera House.

The community has voiced the need for expanding availability for increased programming and access to all floors. Once hearing that the board got on it right away and have been actively searching for new business opportunities. They have recently partnered with KC Elite dance studio for dance classes and dance recitals. April 21, 2023 will be their first performance in the Opera House. Currently, they are providing a venue for movies and entertainment for children’s matinees and have added showings for local Nursing Home Residents. Goals for the Opera House are formed from community input, along with hopes and dreams of the entire board.

The board has been surprised and overjoyed by the community’s support and involvement. The support of many volunteers make it possible for the Opera House to increase its programming. The Opera House provides shows and entertainment between March and November each year. These are primarily musical, but have added comedy shows as well. What Cheer Opera House also gives a lot back to its community including, entertainment/music for all ages, increased cultural and educational opportunities that promote a better life experience for all of What Cheer, the surrounding communities, and all of Southeast Iowa.  

What Cheer Opera House has been working with Indian Hills SBDC Regional Director, Kelly Prickett. Several board members were able to meet and ask questions that Kelly was able to answer. She provided information and guidance that the Opera House needed to continue forward, “The Opera House Board is grateful for the professional, informative and uplifting meeting that we had with Kelly Prickett, SBDC.”

The future of What Cheer Opera House is bright with the hopes of promoting the availability of a range of new business opportunities. They wish to diversify the opportunities available to their community, to their Schools as well as add business/rental opportunities in the future. They are also planning to open the third floor ballroom for weddings, dance studios, and as venue for other business/organizational groups with the continuation of community support and the Opera House Board to obtain funding through writing of grants.

For more information: whatcheeroperahouse.org

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