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Goss Opera House


PIERRE, S.D. – The Goss Block houses the last of three grand opera houses that once graced Watertown, S.D., in an age when theater played a considerable role in the lives of the city’s people. The Goss Opera House is one of South Dakota’s Great Places.
Built by Charles Goss in 1888, the three-story structure opened in the spring of 1889, which, coincidentally, is the same year South Dakota became a state. According to the Goss’ website, a program on August 9, 1901, notes that the Goss Block was the largest opera hall in the state, with a seating capacity of 1,500.
The building has undergone extensive renovation, and there is a lot of action at the Goss Block. The Common Ground Coffee House and Charley’s Restaurant provide gathering spots for visitors and locals alike, while two art galleries display art by two of Watertown’s finest artists, Joshua Spies and Meranda Turbak. In addition, once a month the Goss features local artists with personal art shows and receptions.
The Goss Opera House is located on the corner of Kemp and Maple, at 100 East Kemp Avenue. The opera hall itself is available for special events, and Charley’s Restaurant is Watertown’s only winner of the “AAA 3 Diamond Award,” offering a fine dining experience. For more information about the offerings at the Goss Opera House, visit


South Dakota’s Great Places weekly press release series is a project of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, designed to highlight places in South Dakota that are unique to travelers and residents alike. View our newsroom to access the complete list of articles.