On This Date In Twin Cities History - December 28, 1890
On this date in 1890, the Bijou Opera House in Minneapolis is totally destroyed by fire. Opened on October 31, 1887 at the “People’s Theatre”, it was located at 20 Washington Avenue North. The theater was owned by Lambert Hayes and its first manager was W. E. Sterling of Buffalo, New York. On February 1, 1889, Kohl and Middleton leased the theater, and in July, 1889, it was taken over by Jacob Lit, who renamed it the “Bijou Opera House.” A gas jet behind the scenes was responsible for the fire. A second Bijou Opera House was built on the same site the following year.
Second Bijou Opera House in Minneapolis circa 1907 (MHS)