Newport Music Hall

1722 N. High Street,
Columbus, OH 43201

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Newport Music Hall

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The former State Theater was located on North High Street, across from Ohio State University. I never saw a movie there as it was the Agora Nightclub in the 1970’s when I attended OSU, but I remember a lot of Greek columns and thought what a neat theater is once was. Most of the original decor is intact but painted over the last time I was there (years sgo). I think there was a balcony that was closed off. Any other info of the State would be appreciated.

Contributed by Dave

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

albabewick
albabewick on January 20, 2011 at 5:37 pm

I attend many rock concerts at this venue and have wondered what the theatre’s past lives have been. You can see vestiges of grander times in terms of the marble staircases in the lobby, the painted-over ceiling medallion which once complemented a now-vanished chandelier. There are some decorative elements still semi-intact the higher you look on the walls.

There is a large balcony, which is opened to concert-goers for the well-attended shows.

The place has been renovated in the past few years – the HVAC is much-updated, but the character and permanent finishes remain intact. You can still feel the core character of the theatre, which seems to love its patrons whoever they may be.

Keith
Keith on October 22, 2011 at 2:09 pm

The marquee now says newport music hall in the middle. It used to be all black. I always thought they should have something saying the name of the place on the marquee. That little newport neon sign above the doors was not cuttin' it.

buckeyebanger
buckeyebanger on October 23, 2011 at 11:34 am

It’s funny that Dave posted that marquee shot. In the early days of THE AGORA, Gary Proctor “Bozo” and Freakie Steve ran the stage with Gary calling a lot of the shots preparing The Agora for Hank. Jimmy Marshall was told to put up the marquee…and had first put up “Hauling Oates.” He had not heard of the duo’s band and was wondering why Gary said to put up “Hauling Oates.” We changed the sign…as readers may notice.

buckeyebanger
buckeyebanger on October 23, 2011 at 11:38 am

My newspaper was “Street Sheet—a positive viewspaper” and it’s office were above Street Scene. Later we converted into an artist co-signment shop and something called “Rag Works” in which we sold “hip” cothing styles. The Agora was our home, Gary put in basketball nets for the crew for slow days between shows. I basically ran “security” and hired Buckeye defensive linemen and linebackers to help out with some shows.

buckeyebanger
buckeyebanger on October 26, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Gotta admit that a “most embarrassing moment” was before opening the front doors for the QUEEN show…people pressing against the doors. I went out the back, circled, found some guy in a suit pushing and shoving his way to the front of the crowd. I snatched him up by pants and collar, hauled him to the curb, “Who do ytou think you are pal?” “…I’m the Fire Marshall.” Ooops! Had about “ten seconds” to clear and organize the crowd or no show.

androy51
androy51 on September 9, 2013 at 5:41 pm

I was involved with a (illegal)production of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Agora in 1969 or 1970 as I recall. If anyone has details about the production they can share, please do. I will be searching archives in the Columbus Dispatch if that newspaper is still going.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on September 9, 2013 at 5:51 pm

The Dispatch is still publishing. (The Citizen-Journal is not.) You may also want to look at the OSU Lantern.

Why was your production “illegal” ?

Mark_L
Mark_L on September 9, 2013 at 8:37 pm

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR was first a recording released in 1970. It was incredibly popular when it came out and, because the album was so theatrical, there were many groups that just put on productions of it without any permission from the creators. It was some time later that the official versions started to appear. Androy51, your production was most likely in 1971.

androy51
androy51 on September 20, 2013 at 1:52 pm

The production was deemed illegal as it was not sanctioned by who ever owned the rights to it. Apparently money was to be paid to use the name. My memory of this is very sketchy and is why I am looking for any input.I just remember we were shut down before completing all scheduled performances. And, it was a blast doing it, my memory is at least clear on that. Thanks everyone for comments so far.

buckeyebanger
buckeyebanger on September 20, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Working security for Agora Productions was fun for five years, indoors and when we had summertime rock concerts in towns like Steubbenville or the Aquapark near Dayton. Being on stage and walking through the crowd subjected me to billowing “walls” of marijuana…couldn’t help but “catch a buzz” just being in the area…and I didn’t smoke!!

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