The marquee on the outside of the Opera House Theater & Performance Center is touting quite the statement in Washington Square; “26 Months Until Opening Night”.

According to the Opera House’s website, the completion of the restoration and renovation of the Opera House Theater & Performance Center is set for December of 2017, the theater’s 150th Anniversary.

Following the November 4, 2014 Rhode Island voter approval of the Cultural Facilities Bond, a $4.2 million commitment from the State of Rhode Island has been specifically approved to restore the historic Opera House Theater.

With $5 million in public and private funds secured, the Opera House is making progress on the $13.6 million capital campaign that funds the complete rehabilitation of the Opera House Theater.

During the restoration and renovation, they welcome contributions and pledges up to four years which are matched dollar for dollar by their state grant. Numerous and distinct Naming Opportunities are available and begin with our Cornerstones at $10,000.

Upon completion, the goal is that the Opera House will become a powerful cultural, community, educational and economic asset for the residents of Newport County, as well as the thousands of people who visit Newport annually.

The Road to Opening Night 

According to Opera House Website


The first order of business with the Opera House Restoration was selective demolition to remove the interior walls of the tri-plex movie theater, seats, and screens to reveal the long-hidden architectural details on the walls, ceilings, and stage. This process was completed thanks to a grant from the Alletta Morris McBean Charitable Trust in 2011.


Currently, we are raising funds to begin the next stage of construction, restoring the old theater into a workable performance space. The completion of the restoration and renovation, set for December of 2017, the theater’s 150th Anniversary, will turn the Opera House into a powerful cultural, community, educational and economic asset for the residents of Newport County, as well as the thousands of people who visit our beautiful city annually.

Capital Campaign:

The Capital Campaign is underway, visit the Capital Campaign page for more information.

To schedule a tour of the building, to review the architectural plans, or to discuss making a contribution to the Opera House Theater, contact Liz Drayton at or (401) 619-4599.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.

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