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Croswell Opera House

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To enrich our community as a leading cultural icon and preserve our diverse heritage.


The Croswell Opera House and Fine Arts Association and its employees will promote and perpetuate the arts. We offer professional growth for artists in an historic building. We motivate all ages to participate in cultural activities. We engage our community and connect people. Our goal is to be financially viable and self-sustaining.


We offer a safe and inspiring environment for everyone involved. We enhance their personal growth and promote teamwork. We value and respect each person and encourage collaboration to offer art which our patrons will enjoy and support.

Our History

The Croswell Opera House has been at the center of Adrian's downtown since 1866 and continues to be a center for the arts in Lenawee County. We are proud of our long tradition and of our current programs.

When it first opened, the Croswell provided entertainment to Lenawee County and the surrounding area. Concerts, lectures, vaudeville acts, minstrel shows, and various educational activities could be seen at the theater. Legendary figures including Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglas and Edwin Booth graced the stage throughout the years.

In 1921, the Croswell was turned into a movie theatre and would remain so until 1967 when it was scheduled for demolition. However, the Adrian Foundation saved the building and the Croswell Opera House and Fine Arts Association was developed to promote and perpetuate the arts and to preserve the heritage of its historic building.

During this time, the Croswell has served as a venue for community theatre, concerts and lectures and provided a home for the Junior Town Hall series of professional theatre for children. The Croswell has also served as a rental facility and auditorium for school plays, musicals, and other various events. The Croswell became an official Michigan Historic site in 1976. In the same year the adjacent Goodwin and Birmingham buildings were acquired and renovated to create the current art gallery, box office, staff offices, rehearsal room and Heritage Room. With these renovations, the Croswell became a multi-functional facility.

During the mid-1980s, the Croswell was officially recognized as the oldest continuously operating theater in Michigan, the third oldest in the United States, and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. By 1989 the Croswell was ready for a major change. The orchestra level of the theater was renovated to include new seating, an enlarged orchestra pit, a new stage floor, new carpeting, and a new main curtain. A brass rail and curtain were added to the front of the orchestra pit along with the brass railing on the balcony. Attendance during this time broke all previous records. Because of the increase of ticket sales, a new computerized ticketing system was added in 1992. The following year, the rehearsal room received a new floor and the ceiling was raised.

The changes the Croswell has seen over the years have been vast. The theater has been well maintained and loved by many patrons, volunteers, performers, musicians, and staff. The future is bright and the doors of the Croswell Opera House will always remain open with the generous donations of our patrons.

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation: Not Listed
Notes: None Listed
B.O.Hours:M-F 9a-5p


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