This stunningly historic theatre recently completed a major renovation and is once again a location for arts and entertainment downtown, hosting concerts, pageants, films, and other programming year round.
Constructed to be a counterpart to New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, the Metropolitan Theatre opened on July 24, 1924. The venue has featured world renowned theatrical and musical performances, including the traveling road shows of Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Helen Hayes, and many others. Morgantown native Don Knotts, best known for his role as Barney Fife on the 1960s television sitcom The Andy Griffith Show, had one of his first performances during an “open mic” opportunity on the Met stage at the age of nine. He attributes his decision to become an actor to the many visits he made to the Met with his mom early in his lifetime.
The Met has also played a large role in the Morgantown community throughout the years. In 1929, the theatre showed Weary River, the first talking movie in town, and during the Great Depression, the Met was the only theatre to stay open. It contributed greatly to relief funds during this time through promotional ventures such as motion picture Sundays, where the revenues went to benefit the needy families in Morgantown and the surrounding communities. The theatre also contributed to the war effort during WWII by providing entertainment and contributing proceeds to bond drives and army and navy emergency relief organizations.
The Metropolitan Theatre was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 for its significance in entertainment, recreation, and architecture.
Take a look at the Met’s website for more information about upcoming events.