Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom

169 Ocean Boulevard,
Hampton Beach, NH 03842

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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.

Contributed by John Elwood

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

hollister22nh
hollister22nh on June 3, 2005 at 10:13 am

This postcard is great because it shows the Casino before the addition of the ballroom. The section farthest from you is the casino (changing rooms, bowling alley, whatever) and the section nearest to you with the two towers was the theater/opera house. The ballroom was added next to the theater. Under the ballroom is Funland… with wooden floors and soem really old skeeball machines. Under the theater is the “casino mall” which is a series of very old mechanical games, like steeple chase and a wildwest shoot'em'up. The theater itself has more games, mostly coin operated.

You should go. Fireworks on the beach every wednesday from here till August.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 2, 2015 at 10:43 am

The Theatre Historical Society archive has the MGM Theatre Report for the Casino Theatre at Hampton Beach; it’s Card # 488. But there is no information on it at all except for an undated exterior photo which was probably made about 1950.

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