Goodland has always had a rich history with the arts. Over the course of time Goodland has had two opera houses, four movie theaters, the Art Coucil’s Annual Dinner Theatre, the Goodland High School Fall Musical Production, the High Plains Museum, the Carnegie Arts Center and the Goodland Public Library. Most of these places or events are still open and putting on productions.
In the late 1800s early 1920s Goodland had two opera houses. Local dances and plays were held there and it was a gathering spot for the community. In 1894 the first class to graduate from City High School showed off their elocution skills at the opera house. Unfortunetly the first opera house was destroyed but a second one was built. This opera house was built at the corner of 10th and Main in Goodland. When Mr. T.N. McFeaters started to run the opera house, movies were shown there as well as plays. A claim to fame that the opera house had was that Milburn Stone performed there. Stone later rose to fame playing Doc on the TV show “Gunsmoke.” However the opera house did not last and soon it closed its doors.
While there might not be an opera house in Goodland anymore there are still several places to catch a play and have a night out. One of course is the Goodland High School musical in the fall and the other is the Goodland Arts Council’s Annual Dinner Theatre. This year the play is V.B. Leghorn’s “Collective Dating” which is a performance of four romantic comedy mini-plays based on the world of dating. The performance is scheduled at the Elks Lodge on 16th and Arcade on Saturday April 28th and Sunday April 29th. On Saturday the play will start at 6:30 PM and will include dinner. Tickets are $30, $25 for arts council members. Sunday the play will start at 2:00 PM and include a light buffet where tickets are $25 or $20 for art council members. All times are Mountain Time. This event is sponsored by Eklund’s First Insurance, First National Bank, L&W Andrist Insurance Agency and Peoples State Bank.
Even though the opera house is no longer an opera house the building is still there. Currently it is the Goodland Thrift Shop and the owner is restoring the building to its former construction. There are still many places in Goodland to visit for entertainment including the GHS Musical in the fall, the Arts Council’s Dinner Theatre, and the movie theater which shows a variety of movies.