Thompson Opera House on Main Street in Pioche was originally built in 1873, and held performances until the 1940s. For 70-some years, the hall held grand

Les Derkovitz cycles through the different panels that were painted years ago and used during plays performed at the Thompson Opera House. (Rachel Williford photo)

Thompson Opera House on Main Street in Pioche was originally built in 1873, and held performances until the 1940s. For 70-some years, the hall held grand performances, ballroom dances, staged plays or acted as a gathering location for occasions and events. Finally, after 70-some years of being closed, the hall is seeing a breath of life with the help of Pioche Chamber of Commerce member Les Derkovitz.

After closing the Chamber Cottage, the small building located at the top of Main Street, the need for a center where visitors could have an easily accessible tourist center for Pioche, and more space to store decorations or other accessories for the town, the Thompson Opera House is once again hearing footsteps on the hardwood floor.

Last November, Trinkle Brass Works performed with their traveling symphony, filling the top floor with ragtime, brass, strings, laughter and most importantly applause. The show was so enjoyable, there are talks of Trinkle’s band returning again this November.

Trying to fill the opera house with sounds of its roots, soon, there will be two performances offered to the general public. 

During the fair, Malanie Davaney, from Los Angeles, will be on the road touring through Utah and will be performing at Thompson’s Aug. 8. She is said to have a folk/country sound and is compared to singers such as Carol King and Emmy Lou Harris. It is surely a tribute to all things western.

Singer, song-writer, cowgirl, Juni Fisher will be hosting an evening show over Labor Day weekend for the town of Pioche’s annual bash. As a college student, she competed and rodeo-ed her way to college. Derkovitz says the music, “represents everything loved in Lincoln County.”

He has high hopes as he dreams of additional displays for visitor interest and artifacts. Or to return to the old Gym Theatre roots, located next door to the opera house. He envisions a projector screening an old-time silent movies for entertainment, or to repeat the grandiose ballroom dancing with bands that could replicate the Wilcox Band, a group of local Pioche men, from the 1920s and 30s.

Potential fills the air as Derkovitz gets prepared for Devaney’s arrival Aug. 8. Any who may be interested in finding out more can contact Les, or visit Devaney’s website with her travel schedule at www.melaniedevaney.com.