If you're into arts and history, you'll find plenty to keep you entertained in Sumter.
In the historic Sumter Opera House, the crown jewel of downtown Sumter, stage performances cover an array of entertainment, including vintage movies, concerts and ballet. Celebrating 125 years of talent, culture and shared experiences, the current opera house was built circa 1893, following the destruction of the original building by fire. In 1936 the Opera House was renovated into a movie theater, which created 300 jobs for Depression-era workers. You’ll learn that tickets to the first movie were 35 cents for adults and 10 cents for children. It has endured several changes since then, but today it is home to City Hall, the city council chambers and a 550-seat theater.
To learn more about the city's heritage, visit Sumter County Museum, featuring an array of historical exhibits, from an impressive textile collection to decorative and fine art to a military history display. The museum is housed in the restored, Edwardian-style Williams-Brice House built in 1916.
In the museum's Carolina Backcountry Homestead, you'll find a log cabin, settler's house, smokehouse, barn, commissary, loom house, outhouse and blacksmith shop, offering a peek at 19th-century life in the county. Also located on the museum campus is the Heritage Education Center, which hosts programs, classes and traveling exhibits. Throughout the year, the museum offers a variety of programs for every age, including book signings, children’s storytime, living history classes, Carolina Backcountry Days, tours of the Williams-Brice House and much more.
Visitors interested in the visual arts will want to check out the Sumter County Gallery of Art, showcasing the talents of local and national arts.
Stimulate your mind and interest in art, music, literature and drama at Sumter Little Theatre. It's been offering quality entertainment in a friendly atmosphere for more than 40 years.