Things to do in Salem: Reed Opera House

Experience Modern Salem in a Historic Building

The Reed Opera House sits in the beating heart of central Salem and is a building unlike any other. With a history stretching back more than 150 years, this building has played an integral part in the culture and heritage of Salem. With shops and eateries open at The Reed each day, along with event spaces for weddings, parties, conferences, and more, this is one place you’ll want to stop by on your visit to Salem.

History of Reed Opera House

The original Reed Opera House built by Cyris Adams Reed in 1869-70 was supposed to be a government building but became an opera house instead when government officials didn’t honor their contract with Reed. The Opera House was an ambitious project from the start — the theater seated more guests than people were living in the town of Salem at the time. Nonetheless, Reed’s Opera House became a cultural and social hub of the city right away.

The Reed was converted into a department store in the early 1900s and that was its primary function throughout most of the 20th century. After undergoing various phases of redevelopment since the 1980s, The Reed today is home to local businesses and event space.

Businesses and Events at The Reed

Today, The Reed hosts several shops, services, and restaurants of all kinds. From clothing stores and art galleries to hair salons and sushi bars, The Reed is an eclectic mix of the best Salem has to offer. The businesses that populate this historic building are open every day on the ground level, the underground, the mezzanine, and the second floor. It’s also home to The Reed Ballroom, an elegant event space that hosts weddings, proms, meetings, or holiday events. Even if you’re not hosting an elegant gala, there are still regular happenings at The Reed you can attend, like concerts and seasonal festivities.

Plan Your Visit

The Reed is located at 189 Liberty Street NE, Salem, OR 97301, only two blocks from the Willamette River. It’s open every day starting at 9:00 am and closes at 9:00 pm Monday-Thursday, 10:00 pm Friday-Saturday, and 8:00 pm on Sunday. Entering the building is free. Check the business directory on The Reed’s website to see which shops and restaurants are open during your visit to Salem. You can usually find parking on the street nearby, but at busier times you may have to park a few blocks away.