Old pictures, don't you wonder sometimes just what all is out there, hidden away in someone's attic, old storage building, and in boxes stuffed in forgotten places around someone home. Every once in a while a new one will surface. These old pictures are very exciting to me, as I read about all the old places that onced graced Marion's busy streets, and then to see an actual picture of one of these places is wonderful. The frustrating thing about most of these old pictures is that the faces belong to unknown people. People that once were citizens of our fair town. Did you ever notice that faces in old pictures are usually expressionless, no happy smile, no sad frown, just a solemn face staring at the camera.
One of these lost in time photos turned up recently, it was taken inside of the Opry House, and I would guess in the early 1900's. Perhaps the only one known of at this time. As normal for the old pictures, the musicians on the stage are unidentified. If we only knew the names we might even recognize some the family names of the county. Marion was blessed with many talented musicians during this time.
Marion's Opry House, that once occupied a location on West Bellville Street across from the Court House, provided all kinds of entertainment for the citizens of Marion and surrounding areas. Local plays and musical entertainment, all kinds of traveling shows, which included magic, hypnotism shows and recitations by actors. The Marion city school also held plays and graduations here.
The Opry part of the building was heavily damaged in the fire of Jan. 10, 1921 and never was rebuilt. The Strand theater that was also located in another section of the building continued until 1926 when it was closed for renovation and never reopened.