Rental Info

Elkader Opera House Rental Policies

download and print the rental application & contract

download and print the wedding application 

Mission Statement
The Opera House Board of Trustees was created by ordinance 2004-01 of the City of Elkader. It is responsible to the City Council for managing the affairs and facilities, and promoting the usage, of the Elkader Opera House, except for those areas of the building designated by the City Council for municipal purposes.

It is the intent of the Board to assure that the community’s citizens and organizations de¬rive optimum benefits from the availability and usage of the Elkader Opera House. The following rules and guidelines have been established to provide for the efficient and eq¬uitable fulfillment of that intent.

Application for Rental
Individuals and/or organizations desiring to use the Opera House Facilities must submit a completed application form and deposit fee to the City Clerk’s Office. Upon approval of the application by the Board, or designated representative, the facilities will be reserved for the purposes and date(s) specified in the approved application. Only persons 18 years of age or older, and competent to sign a legal contract, will be allowed to reserve the Opera House.

Rental Charges
A basic charge will apply to each day’s use of the facilities, as follows:
50-99 Participants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $100
100 or more Participants . . . . . . . . . $150

Groups renting more than five times a year recieve a $25 discount per rental.

Seat Use Fee
If participation is subject to a registration fee, admission fee or donation request, the basic rental fee will be supplemented by a charge of 6% of the average adult ticket prices for each participant occupying a sead during the day’s activities or a minimum of $.80 charge for each participant occupying a seat during the day’s activities. Maxium seating is 455.


A deposit of $150 must be filed with the City Clerk’s Office before an application for the use of Opera House facilities will be approved. The amount will be returned within ten days unless the facilities have been damaged or required extraordinary maintenance services. Actual repair costs will determine any deduction from the deposit for damages. Custodial services required for extraordinary maintenance conditions will be deducted from the deposit at the rate of $15 per hour.

Half of the deposit will be forfeited if an approved activity is cancelled less than 30 days prior to the scheduled event.

The entity responsible for the use of the Elkader Opera House must make arrangements with the City Clerk to have the building unlocked or to pick up a key during regular office hours. If a key is checked out, the deposit will not be returned until the key is returned.

In addition, the entity responsible must make the City aware of any additional needs at least five days prior to the usage.

Renters shall not secure any decorations to any exterior or interior surface in any manner. This includes painted, varnished, wallpapered, upholstered and carpeted surfaces. No tacks, staples, nails, tape, stitching, etc. Those needing to hang a banner on the marquee must make arrangements with the City Clerk.

Use of Grand Piano
When the grand piano is used, the renter has the choice of paying for a tuning by a board approved tuner or paying a $40 fee and the Board will be responsible for maintaining an acceptable tuning.

Lights and Sound
For stage performances, theatrical lighting is required. The lighting and sound equipment is property of the Opera House Players and a separate rental fee is required.
The City will make arrangements with the Opera House Players on the renter’s behalf.

Theater Light Usage Fees/Performance
$25 light rental
$25 lighting technicion
$10/hr setup – If there is special setup
Theater Sound Usage Fees/Performance
$25 fee if only the main amp is use (4 mics max)
$50 fee if the externa mixer is required
$25 Sound Technician
*If the light operator can also operate sound, there is only one charge
$10/hr setup – If sepcial setup/sound checks are required

**All fees must be paid immediately following the event unless prior arrangements have been made.

Food and/or beverages will only be permitted in the dressing or backstage areas. None will be allowed in the theater seating areas, lobby or on the stage. Food may be allowed on stage if it is part of an event, performance, or rehearsal. Any exceptions must be authorized by the Board of Opera House Trustees.

Restricted Properties
Applicant must comply with all requirements and assume all costs arising from the use of patented, trade-marked or copyrighted materials, equipment, devices, processes or dramatic rights used in the conduct of an event. The applicant’s responsibilities shall include the payment of all royalties, license fees and other charges related to any music, live or recorded, or entertainment of any kind played, staged or produced during the event.

Smoking and drinking of alcohol within the Elkader Opera House facilities is prohibited. Any exception to the drinking of alcohol must be approved by the Opera House Board of Directors.

Conduct of Participants
Renters, individuals and/or organizations, of the Elkader Opera House facilities will be responsible for the character and acts of participants in scheduled activities. The responsibility will include provisions for general supervision of an activity’s participants and sufficient security services to maintain order and protect persons and property. Inappropriate use of the Opera House may result in the inability of the entity to use the Opera House in the future.

Denial of Use
The City of Elkader reserves the right to deny use of the Elkader Opera House to an entity.