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Celebration For Oldest Theater In United States

It was a day of celebration for one building that is touted as the oldest theater in the United States still in operation.

St. John's Lodge Number 3 and the Valley of New Bern Scottish Rite Masons hosted a celebration on Saturday of the 200th anniversary of the dedication of the Masonic Temple.

The building was constructed from 1801 to 1809 and houses the oldest theater in the in the U.S. still serving patrons.

It is also the oldest building of its kind in New Bern. Tours as well as artifacts from the 18th and 19th centuries seldom available for public view were on display.

"It's a place we take a great deal of pride in, and our efforts are ongoing to restore the building. For me personally, it's a deeply moving day," said David Creech of St. John's Lodge Number 3.

The theater and the ballroom, named "Lowthrop Hall" was the center of social activity in New Bern throughout the 19th century and much of the 20th.


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