Edmonds Opera House fundraiser draws a crowd — and you can still donate

An enthusiastic crowd gathered at the Edmonds Opera House Saturday night to help celebrate its 115 years as a valuable historic Edmonds venue, and to raise funds to assist in preserving it.

Built in 1909 by A. M. Yost to house the original Edmonds Athletic Club, and provide a space for Edmonds events, the Edmonds Opera House located on Dayton Street between 5th and 6th Avenues has served Edmonds in myriad ways. In the first two decades it was the home to Edmonds’ excellent women and men’s basketball teams while providing a venue for public roller skating, billiards, card rooms and even a two-lane bowling alley on the lower floor.

The flexibility of the building’s design provided the opportunity for residents to also attend operas, stage plays, concerts, dances and even prize fights.

During the early Great Depression years, it was the home of Friday and Saturday live dance bands, which brought patrons to the city’s core — benefiting shop owners and restaurants during difficult financial times.

Later, in the aftermath of Japan’s Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, the Opera House was the home to the Edmonds Home Guard, which consisted of 137 men organized to protect the city from any invading force. Toward the end of World War II the Opera House was sold by its original owners — the Yost Family — to Masonic Lodge #165.  The fraternal organization used its members’ labor and materials to remodel the building, adding an east wing and improving the facilities. The building was dedicated on April 1, 1950.

Since then, the Edmonds Opera House has continued to be a cornerstone of the community. It not only functions as the home of the Masonic Lodge, but has been a venue for hundreds if not thousands of events. You can read a more detailed account of the Edmonds Opera House’s history here.

Late last year, a frozen water pipe broke, resulting in extensive damage to the building’s bathroom floors and the meeting rooms below. Saturday night’s fundraising event was the first step in an effort to raise funds for  the needed repairs.

Members of the Edmonds-Woodway Jazz Band perform.
The event included a silent auction and slide show.
Attendees enjoy the buffet.

The event included a buffet dinner, entertainment by the Edmonds-Woodway Jazz Band, a silent auction and a raffle of items donated by local businesses. A slideshow featured many of the historical events that have occurred in the Opera House over the years, and anecdotes and stories were shared regarding the building’s storied history and its significant contributions to the community.

 If you would like to donate to help preserve the historic Edmonds Opera House, you can donate at this link. Any amount helps.

— Story and photos by Byron Wilkes.

    1. Christine, thank you for your question.
      Structurally the Opera House is sound. What it does need is typical repairs and maintenance that 115 year old building would need. Exterior paint, windows painted, carpet replaced, tile floors replaced, 4- bathrooms remodeled, interior painting, energy efficient lighting installed to name a few things. Most of the repairs or updating we do is done by our volunteers.
      So to your question, I would guess about $150,00 to $200,000 without getting actual bids.

      Thank you again for your question.
      Kelly Humann
      Email- Edmondsmasonic165@gmail.com

  1. Christine I would suggest contacting Kelly Humann at 425 778-3833 and he can provide you with the details regarding the plans for preserving the historic Opera House and the related costs.

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