Corbin History

The Corbin Opera House was a social and entertainment center of the community from the late 1880’s until the 1920’s on the north side of the public square in Liberty, Missouri.

The opera house, named for the O.H. Corbin milling family, was located on the second floor of a building constructed in the 1850’s. The mercantile establishments of J.J. Stogdale and John A. Denny occupied the first floor. A stairway of low, broad steps at No.6 East Franklin Street led to the opera house above.

For nearly 40 years, the Corbin Opera House was the site of countless cultural activities.

Christmas dances, lyceum lecture courses, and traveling road shows regularly occurred. The commencement exercises for the Liberty Ladies College were held here as well as the plays of William Jewell College. At the time, Jewell was an all-male institution and “the smoothest-faced and rosiest-checked lad” played the part of the heroine.As there was no county museum at the time of Clay County’s centennial in 1922, the Corbin Opera House was chosen as the site of a three day historical exhibit of rare pioneer relics from the community’s early days. Live entertainment was discontinued upon the advent of motion pictures in the 1920’s and the opera house ceased to exist after an April 1934 storm irreparably damaged its roof and west wall.