Local Spotlight: Cotaco Opera House

Cotaco Opera House

Local landmarks contribute to a town’s character while reflecting the past of the people who made it what it is today. The famous Cotaco Opera House in historic downtown Decatur, Alabama is one of those landmarks. Read on to learn more !

When did the Opera House open?

Ah, 1889! That year, the Eiffel Tower opened. Washington, Montana, and both Dakotas officially became states. Vincent Van Gogh made his masterpiece, Starry Night. Those eventful months also included local news: the construction of Decatur’s Cotaco Opera House.

More on the Cotaco Opera House

The Cotaco Opera House also goes by a different name: the Masonic Building! Local history buffs may recognize the word “Cotaco.” Need a hint? That was the original name of our county prior to “Morgan County.”

In its heyday, you could head over to Cotaco Opera House to see a show. As the 1920s began, it also operated as a meeting house for its new owners, the Rising Sun Masonic Lodge. Now, it’s home to different owners: Curry’s Restaurant & Catering.

What other performances went on at the Opera House?

You didn’t have to be an opera fan to enjoy a visit to the Cotaco Opera House. It also featured musicals and movies.

Why is the Opera House notable?

For one thing, it’s a part of our local history. Back in 1986, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Where is the Opera House?

A little joke: in the same place—it hasn’t moved in over a century! You can find the Opera House at 115 Johnston Street in downtown Decatur.


It’s interesting to imagine what our community was doing more than 100 years ago. For some people, the answer was seeing a show at the Cotaco Opera House. Though it hasn’t sold tickets in decades, it still shines as one of the unique areas of our town. Who knows—it may still have interesting changes when we report back in another 100 years.

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