Music Hall

28 Chestnut Street,
Portsmouth, NH 03801

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Music Hall pano from balcony

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Today, the Music Hall in Portsmouth is an educational and charitable organization presenting live and cinematic arts in a landmark 900-seat opera house.

Over the last twelve years, since it was saved from the wrecking ball, The Music Hall has earned its position as the premier cultural center between Boston and Portland. The Music Hall is a stage for everyone in the Portsmouth community and is celebrating its 123 years of operation.

Contributed by Monica Bounds

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

Paul Noble
Paul Noble on May 26, 2008 at 3:02 pm

Friday evening, May 23, 2008, a support column in the basement gave way during a sold-out appearance by Barbara Walters, promoting her book “Audition.” 900 people were evacuated after the balcony dropped 4 to 5 inches. The building has undergoing renovations.

Patsy
Patsy on June 3, 2008 at 1:54 pm

PaulNoble: Interesting that you would post this as I viewed The View today and heard Barbara speak of being at this theatre over the weekend and that it had to be evacuated though she didn’t go into any detail, on air. Thanks for giving us the balcony scoop. BTW, has anyone read her book?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 21, 2008 at 2:57 pm

A photograph and article in today’s issue of The New York Times:
View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 21, 2008 at 3:32 pm

In 1945, the Music Hall was sold at public auction and re-opened as a cinema called the Civic, according to the NYT article. That name is not mentioned in the introduction, even though it remained for many years.

MPol
MPol on May 26, 2009 at 6:21 pm

I’ll be attending a show at the Music Hall in a couple of weeks, for the first time! I’m excited!

MPol
MPol on June 12, 2009 at 12:15 am

Last night, as part of their Summerfilm program, the Music Hall showed West Side Story. I’d never been to the Music Hall before, but it’s a fabulous-looking theatre, with a big screen that' covered by a dark red velvet curtain, plus an old-fashioned-looking concession stand.

MPol
MPol on July 8, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Since I was there last month, I recognize the Music Hall. It’s a beautiful theatre!

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on February 18, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Lost Memory check out Warrens post of July 21,2008 for inside photo.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on May 3, 2013 at 9:26 am

I just noticed there were few photos of the Music Hall so I added some that I took in 2011. Marvelous story of being saved from the wrecking ball, and how the theatre’s reopening revitalized the area.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 31, 2014 at 9:31 pm

I saw a movie here the other day while visiting nearby Ogunquit, Maine, and it is even more beautiful in person. The auditorium is lovely, and there is a thick red curtain and valence covering the screen before the show. I expected it to open vertically when the show started, but was delighted to see that it rose up instead, with a big screen in the middle of the proscenium and the valence in place. A welcome and classy presentation.

In addition to the beauty of the auditorium, the downstairs bar/lobby is like a vintage nightclub, all rich dark blues with discrete lighting and a hide-away vibe. Must be a great place to have private parties.

And the upstairs lobby with the concession stand and entrances to the auditorium has a classic yet historic feel of a movie palace lobby, but one built before the boom of the 1920’s, with lots of wood and muted tones.

All in all, well worth a visit if you are anywhere near the area. Plus the bustling former shipping center that is Portsmouth has lots to do and see (and eat and drink) so my short stay there left me very satisfied.

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