Anyway, he had some friends performing in The Music Man over in Virginia City, about a half an hour away, so we went to see the show. Virginia City is the site of the Comstock Lode, and in its heyday was a large city complete with an opera house--Piper's Opera House. It was in what is left of Piper's that we saw The Music Man.
You can see from the picture in the link above that the opera house appears built into the side of a hill; as a result, the stage and seating area are upstairs. The pictures are dark, but perhaps they're enough to jumpstart your imagination about what it must have been like in, say, the 1890's.
These first two pictures show alcoves on the left and right sides of the stage. They were used as part of the stage for the show we saw, but I wonder what role they played in the heyday. Might these have been the box seats? Best seats in the house!
These next two pictures show the picture of William Shakespeare that's painted above the stage.
This picture is looking towards the back of the opera house (theater). The balcony area is clearly visible.
Looking towards the front left of the hall, this is an unremarkable picture except for the lamp hanging from the ceiling. Zoom in and look closely enough and you can see that the fittings were clearly for gas. Also note the mirrored cover to reflect the light into the hall.
This wood stove stood in a corner at the rear. Virginia City, despite being in the desert, gets cold--at 6200' above sea level the city sees snow, and this heater would have been a welcome accompaniment to a visit to the opera under such circumstances.
We left Reno the next day, my pockets (and spirit) poorer for the experience but still having had a great time. Two pictures screamed to be taken.
And these are what, exactly? Large birdcages? Perhaps a venue for outdoor go-go dancing? Well, the cages aren't what's funny here. Zoom in and see that the pigeons on the ground to the left of the red cage are fake. Why the heck would anyone want fake pigeon statuary?
This picture needs no commentary.
More pictures of Reno (and Carson City, the capital) can be seen in this post from early last spring.