fb-pixel Skip to main content

Join the discussion: Nearly every business in this Iowa town has closed. Except the opera house.

What Cheer (pronounced “Watch-ear”) is a town of about 700 in southeastern Iowa.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

WHAT CHEER, Iowa — Judy Striegel is crying backstage, but these are tears of joy.

Striegel gets emotional thinking about the neighbors who have helped this 19th-century opera house come to life again: a leaky roof repaired, hazardous knob-and-tube wiring replaced. It’s starting to look like what it could be, with spiderwebs cleared off red velvet curtains and new planks of wood replacing soft patches of floor.

You have to squint to see the future here, but she has no problem with that.

Read the full story.

Emma Platoff can be reached at emma.platoff@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emmaplatoff. Diti Kohli can be reached at diti.kohli@globe.com.Follow her on Twitter @ditikohli_.