JaM Cellars Ballroom at the Margrit Mondavi Theater
The Jam Cellars Ballroom at the Margrit Mondavi Theater is a 650+ person capacity, state-of-the-art, performance space on the second floor of the Opera House building. Both standing room and seated concerts, theatrical shows, cultural events and private events of all types and genres take place in this very special venue. The Blue Note Napa resides on the first floor below.
Napa Valley Opera House History
The Napa Valley Opera House has been one of Napa’s most important cultural icons since 1880. Over that span of time, the Opera House has survived two great depressions, six wars and 26 U.S. presidents. It endured the disappearance of the Berryessa Valley (thanks to the Monticello Dam in the 1950s), and the emergence of California’s wine industry. Over the course of the last decade, it also sat at the center of an exhaustive revitalization of the city’s downtown.
Way back when, only years after the conclusion of the Civil War, the Opera House opened with a glorious performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera, H.M.S. Pinafore. In the years that followed, the stage buzzed almost every night with events ranging from vaudeville acts to music concerts, plays to lectures.
All told, the Opera House has welcomed more than its share of creative geniuses: singer Luisa Tetrazzini, author Jack London, jazz legend Wynton Marsalis, actor/comedian Robin Williams, thespian Rita Moreno, musicians Willie Nelson, Joan Baez, Steve Martin and many more.
Despite the star-power of these headlining acts, the Opera House has been perhaps best known for its historic role as the epicenter of the local community. The facility has hosted numerous public meetings, high school graduations and political speeches. Even during its dormancy, an 89-year period that stretched from 1914 into the 21st Century, the Opera House served as a de facto local business incubator, helping a handful of family-owned enterprises stay afloat.
After its $13-million renovation in the 1990s, the Napa Valley Opera House reopened better than ever in 2003. The institution remains a cornerstone of the Napa community today.