When you first walk into the Abbeville Opera House and step out into the theater, I can guarantee you’re going to experience a delightful surprise. Your eyes might feel like they are deceiving you as you take in the three floors of seating that face the 7,800-square-foot stage. You’d never guess the magnitude of the space without taking it in yourself.
Located on the town square in the city of Abbeville, South Carolina, this historic venue has been hosting performances for more than a century. Once known as “the grand old theatre,” the Opera House was established as a venue due to its popularity as a stayover for road companies traveling between New York City and Atlanta. While it’s been renovated in stages over the years, visitors can still get a sense of the timelessness of the place through elements like the old pulley system backstage that was used in productions of old.
This performing arts theater doesn’t just host storytellers, it tells its own stories even on a day like the one I visited when the seats and stage stood waiting to be filled. It was an honor to take the stage for a moment and get a sense of all the history that has taken place within the Opera House walls.
Here’s how to round out your visit to Abbeville and the Opera House.
Shop Around Town
Abbeville’s downtown square is marked by darling boutiques and shops. Whether you’re looking to grab a souvenir or a new outfit to don as you take in a show at the Opera House, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for. Buying local is always a great idea, so take a look at some of the businesses you shouldn’t miss.
Grab a bite at Two Brews
When you’re visiting a new town, if a local happens to recommend a spot to eat, you should take them at their word. Austin told me I had to get a donut from Two Brews before I headed home, so that’s exactly what I did, and she didn’t steer me wrong! The Banana Pudding Donut was divine, but I almost enjoyed the crescent hot dog even more. Don’t miss your opportunity to check out Two Brews when you make your own trip!
Stay at the Belmont Inn
Abbeville’s historic Belmont Inn is perfectly situated on the edge of the square, making a short walk to all the quaint shopping and delicious dining. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this charming inn speaks to a bygone era and will transport you back in time as soon as you step through its doors. Staying at the Belmont is the perfect accompaniment to your visit to the Abbeville Opera House, plus it’s right next door. What could be better?