The spectacular American treasure was built by Francis Joseph Springer, an immigrant from Alsace who moved to Columbus before the War Between the States. Springer became prosperous in the grocery business but had brought his love of theatre, music and dance from his native Rhine River Valley to the burgeoning Chattahoochee River Valley and dreamt of building a European style theatre here on the banks of this great Southern waterway.
The Springer Opera House opened February 21, 1871 and soon became nationally known as the finest house between Washington and New Orleans.
The Springer continued as a major theatre center until the stock market crash of 1929. With the onset of the Great Depression, the vast network of road companies which provided the lifeblood of American theatre collapsed and the Springer succumbed to the advent of the newest technology, movies.
In 1964, the theatre where the Barrymore's and the Booth's performed was slated for demolition. As the wrecking ball hovered above the stage house, a group of citizens determined to save the Springer aroused community support and began to raise the funds to bring it back to life. When the newly renovated Springer Opera House reopened in 1965, Southerners once again hurried to their seats beneath the huge brass chandelier to enjoy the very best in theatre, music and dance.