Early in this century, Abbeville was a center of activity for western South Carolina. Many "road companies" toured from New York to Atlanta, with the Opera House as an overnight stop. Between 1908 and 1913, Abbevillians enjoyed approximately 260 live performances on the magnificent Opera House stage. The theater offered a rich variety of shows for all tastes, from the first production on the Opera House stage in October of 1908, The Great Divide (complete with a troop of cavalry horses), Fagg's Famous Lady Minstrels, and Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to opera productions such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Life long fans of the Opera House attest to appearances by legendary performers Fanny Brice and Jimmy Durante, as well as magnificent productions by the Ziegfeld Follies and George White's Scandals. Today the Abbeville Opera House is fully restored to its turn-of-the-century condition and under the directions of Executive Director Michael Genevie has twice received the South Carolina Governor's Travel Award for Tourism. It is also the Official Rural Drama State Theatre of South Carolina and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 7800 square foot stage uses the same rope pulled rigging systems as in 1908, and is the only "Hemphouse" remaining in South Carolina. The theatre now attracts some 17,000 visitors to the Abbeville community during its winter and summer seasons. The Opera House is open weekdays from 8:30am to 5pm for self-guided tours.