At a time of colonization, colonizors of the Dixie Cotton Mission were struggling to survive, their leaders planned a higher priority on culture. The Mormon Prophet, Joseph Smith, taught that "man is that he might have joy." His successor Brigham Young interpreted this "joy" to be participation in and enjoyment of the cultural arts. The first locally produced drama was presented in a bowery made of tumble weed just 9 months after the city's birth. The historical social hall, or Opera House, was built in 1875 at the corner of Main and Diagonal Street, one block north of here. It began as a wine cellar built by Gardners Club where sacramental wine was stored. A 23' x 56' room was built above the collar which became the stage and the wings secction, and a 35' x 50' addition to the west became the audience seating area. For nearly 50 years this was the center of social and cultural life in Dixie.
The building featured a mechanized floor which could be lowered several inches at the east end, allowing everyone an unobstructed view of the stage, with a seating capacity of 400, this was a delightful venue for local dramatic club as well as outside players. Opera and other musical entertainment were held there, as well as dances on the moveable floor.
During the early part of this century the stage of St. George Academy, as well as movie theatres, began to replace the activities of the Opera House. The building was eventually sold to U & I Sugar Co. and used as offices and storage for sugar beet seed.
Presently, the building is being restored as the central feature of the Pioneer Center for Arts.