Howells Opera House

Howells Opera House
Oakley, Cassia County

  • Grant: Grant: 1992, 2017, 2019, 2021 (roof truss and structural ceiling repair), 2022 (roof truss and structural ceiling repair)

Location: 118 N. Blaine Avenue, Oakley, Idaho

In 1904 Judge B.P. Howells contracted with two masons, George Croft and William Dummer and two carpenters, Cyrus Cavanass and Elmer Mecham, to build the Opera House. The masons brought reddish brown rhyolite rock, quarried about three miles east of Oakley for the foundation. The walls of the Opera House were constructed three bricks deep from bricks made at a local brickyard. The theater was finished in 1907 at a cost of $22,000. Judge Howells was an attorney in the Diamond Field Jack trial, a famous incident in the cattle and sheep growers dispute of the late 1800s. He was also a county judge.

The Opera House was continually used for plays and even movies for a time. It was purchased from the LDS Church in 1982 by the newly formed Oakley Valley Art Council, Inc. The intimate 278-seat theatre serves as an important cultural and artistic hub for Oakley and the surrounding area, including hosting Oakley High School’s senior productions.

The Opera House is among those in the National Register as the Oakley Historic District.

For more information contact Oakley Valley Arts Council, Inc and visit

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