The Exira Hall Company was organized June 30, 1874 and sold enough stock to erect a building to be used for a courthouse.
The ground floor housed the offices and the main hall upstairs was the courtroom. The county occupied this building until 1879 when the County Seat was moved to Audubon.
In 1887 the Knights of Pythias and the Masonic Lodges were looking for a place to hold lodge meetings so the Pythias Lodge leased the old Courthouse for $30.00 per year. They gradually became owners of the building and used the upper rooms for lodge meetings.
The name was changed to Opera House when the "Men's Lecture Club" rented the ground floor in 1901 to be used for entertainment purposes. Troupes of show people traveled through the country presenting plays, vaudeville acts, medicine shows, chautauqua, etc., They came by train about once a month. Admission was 25 cents, reserved seats cost 35 cents.
The Opera House had a seating capacity of nearly 400. Sometimes the chairs were stacked up on the stage to clear the floor for dances. It was also used for a roller skating rink.
The first silent movies were shown here, also it has been used for many other things such as the first library, bakery, restaurant, cafe, Outreach Center and many others I don't remember.
--courtesy of Iva Milliman