The Ambler Opera House

Updated: Sep 17, 2021

When Richard V. Mattison moved his asbestos company from Philadelphia to Ambler, he built homes for his employees to live in. Not only that, he also built streets, improved resources that were in Ambler like water supply, and built the town's first opera house, "bringing a new wave of theater, vaudeville, and later, when vaudeville died, moving pictures."

Richard had the opera house built and designed by Milton B. Bean (1849-1938) of Lansdale in 1890.

Fun Fact #1: Milton was the chief architect to Mattison who not only designed the opera house, but also designed his Lindenwold home and the Trinity Memorial Episcopal Church.

The Ambler Opera House lasted until 1966 when it lost its usefulness.

Montgomery County 1893, Ambler Borough; J. L. Smith, Publisher
Atlas of the North Penn Section of Montgomery County, Pa., 1916, Plate 26; A. H. Mueller, Publisher
Ambler Postcard with the Opera House, 1906
Present Day Photo: Currently an almost demolished Liberty Gas Station
An eerie take of the Opera House that stood on Butler Pike and Maple Avenue; Done by Photoshop
Clipping ad from Ambler Gazette (February 14, 1895): Page 3; The Ariel Ladies Quartet of Boston were an all-female group who sang, played, and performed around the US;
Clipping ad from Ambler Gazette (October 30, 1913): Page 5


Hare, Dave. "The Magical, Mysterious Mr. Bean." Patch. Last modified November 9, 2011.

Mueller, A.H. Atlas of the North Penn Section of Montgomery County, Pa., Plate 26, 1916.

Quattrone, Frank D. Ambler. (Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2004): 8, 42-43.

Smith, J.L. Montgomery County 1893, Ambler Borough, 1893.

"Whittock's Whitpain." Wissahickon Valley Historical Society. Accessed February 2, 2021.

"Wissahickon Valley Public Library's Ambler Gazette Collection." POWER Library: Pennsylvania's Electronic Library. Accessed May 12, 2021.

#pahistory #ambler #richardmattison #keasbeyandmattison #butlerpike #mapleavenue #trainstation #operahouse #entertainment #culture #miltonbbean #lansdale #architect #photoshop #architecture

83 views0 comments

Related Posts

See All