The Grand Forks Opera House Company was incorporated on August 2, 1889 by over thirty businessmen from Grand Forks. The Board of Directors included S.S. Titus (president), George Winship (vice-president), Burke Corbett (secretary), George Batchelder (treasurer), and E. J. Lander and John Birkholz (directors).
The foundation for the Metropolitan Opera House was laid in the fall of 1889 and was completed the following year. The total cost of construction was over $90,000. The Met witnessed its debut on November 10, 1890, with a performance of "Martha" by the nationally renowned Emma Abbott. This performance was unique in that it was a three night engagement, in addition to a matinee. The first governor of North Dakota, John Miller, came to Grand Forks to deliver the dedication speech. The first manager of the Met was George Broadhurst, hired away from the Hennepin Avenue Theater in Minneapolis.
After 1907, the Met began showing motion pictures, and by 1930s was showing nothing but movies. In 1940, the interior was gutted and a bowling alley was installed. The Met survived the 1997 Red River Valley Flood, and still stands in downtown Grand Forks.
Bell, John. The Metropolitan Theatre in Grand Forks, North Dakota: The Years of Decline, 1911-1933. Call number: T1997 b413 (Master's thesis)
Drake, Dawn. Production Activity and Performers at the Metropolitan Theatre, Grand Forks, North Dakota: 1898-1911. Call number: T1993 d789 (Master's Thesis)
Kelsey, Vera. Red River Runs North. New York: Harper, 1951. Call number: F612.r27k4
They Came to Stay: Grand Forks, North Dakota Centennial, 1874-1974. Call number: F644.g8t48x
Tomasek, Paul. The Metropolitan Opera House of Grand Forks, North Dakota. Call number: UT1971 t59 (UND Honor's Thesis)
Tweton, D. Jerome. Grand Forks: A Pictorial History. Norfolk, VA: Donning, 1986. Call number: F644.g8t84 1986
Additional material was donated by:
Barbara Lander, Grand Forks, North Dakota, on March 25, 1997
Sandy Slater, Department of Special Collections in Fall 1999 (Acc.99-2397)
Peg O'Leary, Grand Forks Historic Preservation Commission, Grand Forks, North Dakota, in November 2000 (Acc.2001-2487).
Donation; Acc.81- 774