Another spectacular example of renowned theatre architect Frank Matcham’s work littered around the UK, the Buxton Opera House is a beautiful venue for live performances. It stages a range of musicals, opera, pantomimes and other shows year round, hosting approximately 450 varied performances annually. The history of the Opera House is also somewhat varied. It was constructed in 1903, beginning as a venue for touring productions and proving quite successful with Edwardian theatre-goers. It was a whirlwind of Shakespeare, ballet and West End performances, captivating audiences, including Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks who watched the ‘Dying Swan’. But the Great Depression struck and in 1927, the venue transpired into a cinema, showing silent movies and talkies for decades. The site closed in the 1970s, but was reopened before the 80s as its former self, complete with a new orchestra pit to fit Matcham’s design and iconic Baroque plasterwork. The theatre now celebrates over a century of providing entertainment to Buxton. It opened the adjacent Pavilion Arts Centre in 2010 to share more of the arts with locals. The relationship between the Opera House and surrounding community has grown recently, where the venue was voted as the most Welcoming Theatre in the region for two consecutive years. Together the Opera House and Pavilion Arts Centre host some of the best local festivals. Buxton Festival is one of the largest operatic festivals in the UK, while Buxton Fringe often warms up acts for Edinburgh’s renowned comedy celebrations. Other festivals in recent history include the International Gilbert and Sullivan, Four Four Time, and many more.