Goodspeed Opera House Opens – Today in History: October 24
Goodspeed Opera House, East Haddam

Goodspeed Opera House, East Haddam

Last Updated: May 30, 2024

On October 24, 1877, the Goodspeed Opera House on the Connecticut River in East Haddam officially opened to the public with the productions of Charles II, Box and Cox, and Turn Him Out. Financed by local businessman William Goodspeed and built by master builder Jabez Comstock, the building’s main floor served as a store, office, and steamship docking point, and the top two floors served as a venue for live performances. After Goodspeed died in 1882, the Second Empire-style building fell into disrepair and was used for a number of purposes, including as a Connecticut State Highway storage facility. In 1959, concerned residents formed the Goodspeed Opera House Foundation (now Goodspeed Musicals) in order to restore the building and bring back theater performances. The Goodspeed Opera House reopened in 1963 and continues to operate today as a theater. Since 1968, numerous productions that originated at the theater have gone on to play on Broadway, and Goodspeed productions have won more than a dozen Tony awards.

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