Night at the Opera displays restored Kearney Opera House curtain


    A curtain and red carpet bringing back memories of a night at the Kearney Opera House through a fundraiser raising money for the Buffalo County Historical Society.

    The restored curtain hung in the Kearney Opera House in the 1920's will once again hang on display for people to see.

    One man at the event says the night helped bring back memories of the beautiful opera house that once stood tall on the bricks.

    "Tonight's event was just an opportunity to showcase the opera house curtain that so many of us were excited about. It also gave us an excuse to be able to show many of our other artifacts and curtains that we've found as we've been working on this project," said Vickie Schaepler member of the Buffalo County Historical Society.

    The Buffalo County Historical Society saying the event centered around the last curtain that hung in the Kearney Opera House before it was raised in the 1950's.

    "We did receive a grant to restore the opera house curtain. It had been hanging up in the depot back room, the third room but only a part of it could be seen because it was so tall. When we designed this new building we specifically designed it tall enough so we could unroll it completely," said Jennifer Murrish, the executive director for the Buffalo County Historical Society and Rails and Trails.

    The fundraiser titled 'Night at the Opera' also brought back reenactments from past performers like William Jennings and Harry Houdini, as well as pictures and articles of the old building.

    "It used to be where Bruce furniture is now which used to be Payne Larson furniture, a lot of people remember that. It was torn down. The guy who wanted to save it lost it by one dollar. It went up for silent auction and there was a one dollar difference. We've been told when the wrecking ball went to hit it, it ricocheted off because it was so well built," said Murrish.

    Among the Kearney Opera House curtain were other curtains they found which will eventually hang when they expand the Family History Center.

    "Now that we have a new building we can get displays out that have been in storage for years. Now we have them out but this is just a small part. When we get phase two out, we can expand on this and show a lot more artifacts," said Murrish.

    The Buffalo County Historical Society is hoping to start phase two adding onto the museum in 2019.

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