In the early 1880s, Barton S. Tibbits financed the construction of Tibbits Opera House in Coldwater, Mich. The theater held its first performance Sept. 21, 1882, and quickly became a popular venue for traveling performers.
Tibbits Opera House changed owners numerous times during the next several decades and hosted various events. In addition to theatrical performances, the opera house hosted wrestling and boxing matches, marionette shows, local talent shows, camel rides, a circus side show and Vaudeville acts. The theater began showing movies in 1919, and in 1934, the opera house was modernized into a movie theater. The building became vacant in 1954.
In the late 1950s, local thespians collected donations and began cleaning the old theater, and, eventually, the theater again began hosting performances. The Tibbits Opera Foundation was organized in 1963, and, with community support, the opera house underwent some renovations.
The theater continues to be a busy venue for children's theater, concerts, community theater, recitals and professional productions.