The historic Napa Valley Opera House on Main Street in Napa, California, first opened its doors in 1880 with a production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore. Those doors closed in 1914, the theater having sustained damage from San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake and changing times - vaudeville was in decline and movies were growing ever more dominant. The historic building was saved from the wrecking ball in the 1970s when it was added to the National Registry of Historic Places and, a few years later, due largely to a challenge grant from the Mondavi family, money was raised for its restoration. In 2003, the theater’s doors opened once more.
Late in 2013, the Opera House entered into a long-term lease with Michael Dorf, founder and CEO of the City Winery organization. City Winery establishments – now in New York and Chicago - combine music venue, events space, restaurant and urban winery. At the venues in Manhattan and the Windy City winemakers crush and ferment grapes on site but because Napa is in the very heart of California’s wine country and surrounded on all sides by wineries large and small, winemaking won’t be among this location’s offerings. However, City Winery Napa will feature many wines on tap - and of the 35 wines to be offered, 30 will be from local wineries.
$2.3 million in upgrades are in progress now at the historic landmark and a “soft launch” of the venue is set to take place in April, May and June.
Along with live entertainment events, Napa’s City Winery will also present a monthly “Tuesday Night Flicks” program. So far, three legendary classics are on the schedule and I can't wait to see them at the redesigned opera house and report back...
- April 22: Vincente Minnelli’s An American in Paris (1950)
- May 27: Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious (1946)
- June 24: Carol Reed’s The Third Man (1949)