Music Hall

28 Chestnut Street,
Portsmouth, NH 03801

Unfavorite 5 people favorited this theater

Showing 14 comments

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 13, 2018 at 6:55 pm

A relative who lives in Portsmouth told me today that the new marquee has been installed.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on February 5, 2016 at 12:28 pm

I have heard that there is a project at the Music Hall to fit the facade with some sort of colorful marquee. The theater sits on a narrow side street and does not have much visibility downtown.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 31, 2014 at 11:31 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.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on May 3, 2013 at 11:26 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.

TLSLOEWS on February 18, 2010 at 3:52 pm

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

MPol on July 8, 2009 at 10:01 pm

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

MPol on June 12, 2009 at 2:15 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 on May 26, 2009 at 8:21 pm

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

Patsy on June 3, 2008 at 3:54 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?

Paul Noble
Paul Noble on May 26, 2008 at 5:02 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.

gabedellafave on September 19, 2007 at 9:02 pm

Quite lovely. I saw it in 2004 also. This is the oldest theater I have ever seen in person; and I have seen a lot of old theaters, living close to NYC.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on October 2, 2005 at 9:02 am

The architect was William Ashe and it opened on January 29, 1878. It was also known as the Portsmouth Theatre and the Civic Theatre. The Arcadia Press book mentioned by Gerald DeLuca has a great deal of info and lots of photos.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 14, 2005 at 2:26 pm

There is a book out dedicated to this theatre: The Music Hall: Portsmouth, by authors Zhana Morris, Trevor F. Bartlett & Friends of the Music Hall. It is published by Arcadia and is part of the “Images of America” series.

richardg on October 26, 2004 at 8:39 pm

I got to see this grand old theatre in October 2004. Unfortunately, my timing wasn’t right for the Portsmouth Film Festival, but I did take in a Jazz and Blues concert featuring Dr. John. This theatre pre-dates the ornate movie palaces built in the 20’s and 30’s but it’s still worth a visit. The acoustics are superb and other than a few seats behind the balcony support poles, there’s not a bad seat in the house.