January 15, 1894
The grand opening of Jonesboro’s 400-seat Opera House was held, marked by a traveling troupe’s Swedish dialect comedy, Ole Olsen. In November 1895, Will Malone, manager of the Jonesboro Opera House, closed it and opened the 800-seat Malone Theater in a remodeled building in October 1896. Audiences were treated to productions of Hamlet, King Lear, and Spartacus, as well as pieces like Old Farmer Hopkins. Malone’s motto was “First rate entertainment or none.” Unfortunately, that policy did not ensure financial success, and, though the building stood into the 1960s, it was used in the twentieth century only for local events like graduations plus a few touring shows.