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      A historical look on Canton's favorite playhouse

      In 2005, the Canton community along with some students from Culver-Stockton College got together to brainstorm what type of business was needed in Canton.

      And thus, the Lewis Street Playhouse was born.

      A non-for-profit theatre partnered with the Canton Arts Council, but the history of the theatre spans longer than the nine years since its opening.

      "The building was originally constructed in 1893 as the Miller Star Opera House,â?? Dell Ann Janey, Chairman of the Lewis Street Playhouse, said.

      The opera house was the home to traveling stage performances until the 1930s. It was then when it transitioned into a theatre, opening in 1937.

      "It was actually hailed as the one of the finest movie theatres in Northeast Missouri," playhouse board member Robin Jarvis said.

      One hundred and twenty-one years since the building first opened, the Lewis Street Playhouse is now a theatre, but acts as more than just a movie theatre itself.

      "It provides a community venue where people can meet, for events, but also a theatrical location,â?? Janey said.

      The theatre houses events including class reunions and wedding rehearsal dinners. Community business are also heavily involved, a benefit that Jarvis says is a big factor for the community.

      â??Since the playhouse has that movie payed for, we don't have to charge admission to the residents of Canton,â?? Jarvis said. â??So itâ??s really great that our young people can come to a movie for free.â??

      The playhouse is working on plans for the future as well. Janey said the theatre will continue to offer movies on a regular basis, and will provide a variety of entertainment as well.

      The playhouse is currently closed for the month of July, but will re-open back up again in August.