In 1889, a resilient Charles Goss built the Goss Opera House after fire destroyed his original
building. Box seats and a beautiful serpentine balcony, still intact today, overlooked a
magnificent stage with superb acoustics. Audiences filled seats for music and theater
productions as well as lavish events like the Merchant’s Ball.
The vibrant space slowly went dark after the Depression, and by the late 1950s, it became a
largely forgotten part of our history.
Nearly 70-years after going dark, a small group of friends rallied thousands to help preserve the
history of the Goss Opera House and bring life back to the space.
Every inch of the historic building was restored in an extensive $5MM renovation
project, ensuring future generations their own memories at the Goss.
The Goss now boasts a world-class sound system, state-of-the-art climate control as well
as elegant decor and beautiful lighting throughout.
The Friends of the Goss Opera House, the non-profit that manages the care of this landmark is
committed to preserving this magnificent building for all to enjoy.
Because of the vision of Charles Goss and the tenacity of our community, the Goss Opera
House remains the heart of downtown Watertown.We invite you to make your own memories at
“The rehabilitation of the Goss Opera House can be easily identified as key in assisting new development in the downtown area. This project will send a ripple-effect across our downtown, encouraging further investment from private companies that support the diverse industries within the community, advancing job opportunities and entrepreneurial growth.”
Chris Schilken, Deputy Commissioner at South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development