Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
169 Ocean Blvd,
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The Casino Ballroom started as just the Hampton Casino. It was built to give a place for the trolleys to go coming out of Exeter and Amesbury. The Opera House was added later, then Ocean House hotel, and finally the Ballroom.
The Opera house became a movie house. The entire complex was given a 1950’s front, but was still 1850’s on this inside. The Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom was still making money with movies in the Opera house and live performances in the Casino Ballroom.
A riot over a Jethro Tull concert where the NH National Guard was called up ended concerts at the ballroom and led to the Casino’s downturn. By the 1970’s the Ocean House had to be demolished.
The entire complex was bought and renovated, but a visit today would make you wonder if that actually happened. It is, inside and all around, a complete relic of another time. The Casino Opera House movie theater was closed after the original release of “ET” in 1982.
The space is now used for shoot-em-ups, ice cream stands, and other midway fare. Still an amazing place.
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