The old Metropolitan Opera House at 858 N. Broad St. is a tale of two buildings.

Enter from Poplar Street and you pass through a simple lobby and descend into a 1,000-seat gospel hall with bright blue carpet, blue chairs, and a big blue tarp nailed to the ceiling.

On a raised stage, high-back chairs are arranged in a semicircle around a pulpit, where the Rev. Mark Hatcher Jr. holds forth on Sundays before his Holy Ghost Church.

But follow the steep stairs off the lobby to the upper levels and you walk into a place that looks more like a piece of ancient Rome – dark, decaying, and dreary.

There, the 104-year-old opera house remains in a state of suspended disrepair. Chunks of ceiling and wall have disintegrated into dust that collects in piles on the tarp between the upper and lower levels.

(via North Broad developer joins Metropolitan Opera House restoration project)

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