Want to see the inside of Middletown’s historic Sorg Opera House? Here’s your chance

The non-profit Sorg Opera Revitalization Group (SORG), working to restore the opera house and its office building, recently received newer seats donated from a theater in Northern Kentucky and from Cincinnati’s Music Hall, that will replace the old ones. The old ones are being sold to the general public. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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The non-profit Sorg Opera Revitalization Group (SORG), working to restore the opera house and its office building, recently received newer seats donated from a theater in Northern Kentucky and from Cincinnati’s Music Hall, that will replace the old ones. The old ones are being sold to the general public. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

If you’ve ever wanted to check out some incredible historic buildings in the region, here’s your chance.

An instameet co-hosted by @daytongram, @igersdayton, @igerscincinnati and Dayton.com will be held at the historic Sorg Opera House & Commercial Building, located at 55 S. Main St. in downtown Middletown on Saturday, June 24, 2017 at 6 p.m. The building was built in 1890 and opened in 1891.

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Attendees will meet inside the lobby of the Sorg Opera House promptly at 6 p.m. The Sorg Opera Revitalization Group (SORG) will require a donation in the dollar amount of the attendee’s choice (cash or check only) to explore and take photographs inside the Sorg.

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ExploreMeet Tom Gilliam, founder of @daytongramPeople tour the Sorg Opera House during an open house hosted by Sorg Opera Revitalization Group (SORG) at the theater in Middletown on Sunday. CONTRIBUTED BY E.L. HUBBARD Hubbard

Donations from the meet will be used by the Sorg Opera Revitalization Group (SORG), an all-volunteer non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established in 2013 to continue work on restoring the building to its original glory.

“For an all-volunteer non-profit group, we have had a great year,” said SORG’s Chuck Miller. “The donation of 800 plus Cincinnati Music Hall seats was a real game changer.”

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According to Miller, the Sorg Opera House is very close to opening its doors to benefit concerts under temporary occupancy permits.

“When we pass the sprinkler system water test, which we hope will be very soon, we’ll be ready for our inspection.”

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At 8 p.m., a magic hour photo walk of downtown Middletown will start from outside the Sorg Opera House. A donation is not required for the photo walk. After the photo walk, the instameet group will be meeting for a beer at the new Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House, located at 6550 Lebanon Hamilton Road in Monroe.

The @daytongram account, founded by Dayton area photographer Tom Gilliam in July 2013, features Dayton through exclusively through Gilliam's eyes but there is an added community element to his account.

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“Even though I don’t feature the work of other photographers, I’ve been hosting instameets and photo walks in the Dayton area since March 2014,” said Gilliam.

David Suter (@entropic on IG), also a local photographer, started @igersdayton in June 2016 to boost the Dayton Instagram community by featuring the work of Dayton area photographers, filling a void created by the defunct @daytonsbest account.

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In August 2016, Gilliam and Suter decided to collaborate on planning future instameets in order to grow the IG community in Dayton. The first “igdayton” meet was held on May 6, 2017 in the form of a photo walk through Dayton’s Oregon Historic District.

“Since Middletown is between Dayton and Cincinnati, it was a no-brainer to get @igerscincinnati to co-plan and promote the meet with us,” said Gilliam.

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The @igerscincinnati account was created in March 2012 and features photos from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky photographers moderated by photographers Abby Erwin (@themidge00) and @wrendreoilin.

“@igerscincinnati is excited to collaborate with @igersdayton and @daytongram on the Sorg Opera House. We are excited to meet up with our friends from up north and explore a building few are able to see while it's under renovation,” said Erwin.

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“I'm really excited to branch out and collaborate with the awesome community from Cincinnati,” Suter said. “I can't wait to see first-hand what the Sorg has to offer.”

What is an instameet? According to Instagram, an instameet is a group of Instagrammers meeting up to take photos and videos together. That's it! An instameet can happen anywhere and be any size. They're a great opportunity to share tips and tricks with other community members in your area, and an excuse to get out and explore someplace new!

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“Instameets are a great way to meet people with similar interests as you...whether it's the love of photography, love of architecture, love of your city or just the love the comradery,” Erwin said.

Supporters of the Sorg Opera House's historic preservation who are unable attend the meet but would still like to make a donation online or by check, can visit sorgoperahouse.org/donate.

For more information, visit the Instagram accounts @daytongram, @igersdayton and @igerscincinnati, plus sorgoperahouse.org.

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