Pleasant Hill Missouri Knorpp's Opera House

Open Door Full Gospel Church

Standing tall on the corner of First and Commercial lies an unassuming cream colored building with a connection to opera. Knorpp's Opera House was initially constructed in the 1880s as Pleasant Hill experienced an economic boom as a railroad hub. John C. Knorpp, the building’s financier and namesake, was a cattle magnate in the county, and funded the project as a site for entertainment in the growing town.

Built for the 2023 equivalent of nearly $350,000, the construction of Knorpp's Opera House reflected the wealth of its namesake. The Opera House stands out from many of the other buildings in the area, with limestone construction accented by red cast iron metal segments and two light fixtures from the period that added a pop of color and class. Much of the original building has been preserved over the last 140 years, barring the stone addition on the first floor, all of which conveys the amount of care put into making the Opera House one of the most luxurious buildings in town.

As for the interior, much of the theatrical entertainment took place on the second floor, where performances of opera, traditional drama, crowd-pleasing vaudeville acts, and other community projects were staged. To keep the lights on in the meantime, the first floor acted as a grocery store. Despite the vast amount of money funneled into the project, the Opera House did not serve as a center for theatrical performances for very long; by the turn of the century, the building had been rented out for a number of purposes. Masonic lodges, dance halls, shops, and even a gas company called this building home. In the Pleasant Hill of today, the Opera House stands as a different kind of landmark - it has operated as a church since the 1990s.



135 S 1st St, Pleasant Hill, MO 64080 ~ On the corner of First St. and E. Commercial St., in the Historic District