The Pemberville Opera House
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Watch the 're' renovation!

 This past December, 2011, the opera house underwent extension renovations to the plaster.  Due to an accident, the ceiling had a hole which needed repair and also much plaster that was compromised. Consequently, the entire ceiling, and the walls down to the wainscotting were completely resurfaced.  This could not have been accomplished without the talents of Aleksey Syrnichenko, master craftsman and designer.  His website is

Hanging the chandelier in the center of the restored fresco

A special Thank You to all who lovingly restored this wonderful space!


The fresco is revealed
Ceiling receives paint
Fresco is recreated using oil paints

      The Restoration Process
The Pemberville Opera House Restoration committee was formed by historical society members interested in the restoration of the Opera House. Fundraisers were held in the form of a melodrama, plays, dessert auctions and generous donations from individuals and organizations.  The Restoration Committee met in June and July of 1998 for strategic planning and voted to begin the restoration with the money that had been accumulated to date. The ceiling was insulated and in November two furnaces were  in the attic to heat the Opera House. 30,000 feet of wire was used to install a completely new electrical system. On Jan 17, 1999 restoration work bagan. Areas of the walls and ceiling were water-stained and damaged with loose and falling plaster. The floor was covered with 100 years of bat residue. Loose paint was scraped off the walls and ceiling uncovering original stencilling and a ceiling fresco measuring 18 foot in diameter. The wall colors and stencilling were duplicated and the fresco was restored using two coats of Rembrandt Oil paint. A total of 457 hours and 7 weeks to complete. One year later a special varnish was applied to preserve the fresco.
The heating ducts, electrical wiring and existing pipes needed to be covered and out of view. The landing at the top of the stairway had to be enlarged to meet code regulations. This was done by constructing walls and creating the coved ceiling to match the existing architecture. Wainscoting was milled to match the existing wall treatment. Plaster was repaired, inside storm windows constructed and the fire escape brought up to code by reinforcing the entire structure and replacing the wooden treads with iron. The floor was vacuumed and scrubbed and years of dirt dug out of the grooves before two coats of polyurethane were applied.
 There were no pictures available of the original light fixtures or window treatments so extensive research was done to choose chandeliers and draperies appropriate to the late 19th century. The gasolier style chandeliers were purchased, carpet was laid in the foyer and stairway and shutters installed on stairway windows.
     Many volunteers contributed to the restoration of the Pemberville Opera House but there was a core group of people that worked continuously to complete the project in time for the rededication at the Pemberville Autumnfest on October 23, 1999. One wonders if any of this restoration would have been accomplished without this dedicated core group of committed volunteers. They gave countless hours in what would become a local treasure.

Water soaked and stained walls
Ceiling in need of help
Damage exposed