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 Post subject: Ralston Opera House and Hardware
PostPosted: Tue Mar 1st, 2011 am31 12:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 20th, 2011 pm31 10:33 pm
Posts: 251
Location: Ralston, Oklahoma
Yes, a strange combination. Built when Ralston Oklahoma was in its boom years, the Harry Brothers hardware store was on the lower floor and the Opera House on the upper. It was built in 1902 and the hardware store continued operation until the 1970s, ran by Helen Harry, the younger sister of the Harry brothers that built the original. The Opera house was updated for motion pictures in the early 1920s and when it closed, it was left to its own devices for several decades. A restoration was partially completed about 15 years ago, but the gentleman overseeing it passed away, and the building sold for taxes. Isabella, the lady who now owns it kindly allowed me inside to get some photos. The building is falling into disrepair and its future is uncertain.

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Isabella was a bit eccentric and insisted on showing me most of the items in the old hardware store. It seems she collects a wide variety of things, but seldom seems to sell anything. Unfortunately, this collection obscured much of the hardware store.

On to the pics.

This is a 1908 photo of the building.
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A photo from inside the hardware store. Several of the old display cases shown here still remain.
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The building as it looks currently.
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The building was a shotgun design, with two sides connected inside to allow customers to cross back and forth. In the middle of the shotgun, was the door and stairs to the Opera house located above.
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A surprising amount of the original exterior hardware still remains.
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Inside the hardware section.
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You can see these windows and display cases in the old photo above.
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Heading upstairs to the Opera house. The ticket booth was at the top with doors to the left and right.
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A few decades of kids initials carved into the walls.
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This is an old photo of the original opera curtain. I noticed that advertising knows no time barriers.
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Entering the Opera house proper with a view of the stage.
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Many of the windows are broken and boarded up.
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View of the entrance and the old projector location.
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View of the stage with the curtains and backdrops.
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Doors on the left and right of the stage provided access.
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View from the stage.
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Lifting mechanisms for the curtains. The curtains where lifted intact into a raised area in the ceiling.
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The backstage area. The dressing rooms where to the rear. These areas where in bad repair and where unsafe to enter.
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In addition to the drop curtains, sliding backdrops where also used.
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The attic area above the stage, originally used for prop storage.
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The ticket booth.
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Down the stairs.
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Old original flagstone sidewalk.
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The rear of the building with the dressing rooms on the upper section.
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The raised section for the curtains. It and the side of the building where used for advertising back in the day.

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The opera house can be seen in the distance under the water tower. It's hard to make out in this photo, but "Genuine Bull Durham" was painted on the side.

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_________________
"Ruins, the fate of all cities."


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 Post subject: Re: Ralston Opera House and Hardware
PostPosted: Tue Mar 1st, 2011 pm31 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 9th, 2010 pm31 2:22 pm
Posts: 42
Location: norman
what a creepy place! great pictures!


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