6 S. Main Street,
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Stetson Hall (Official)
Functions: Community Center, Live Performances
Styles: Greek Revival
Stetson Hall is an exceptionally handsome Greek Revival building in Randolph center, to the south of Boston. It was a gift to the town in 1842 by Amassa Stetson, a wealthy local businessman. The auditorium on the second floor was originally intended for town meetings, but it was also used for lectures, plays and concerts.
After town meetings were moved elsewhere, the little theatre became a commercial venue for silent films. It continued as a movie theatre until replaced by the new Randolph Theatre around 1937. The space was eventually cut up into offices by partitions and false ceilings.
In 2009, the building had been restored, and the auditorium made whole again. It is now used as a community center and for live performances.
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Restoration work, which began in October, is now well underway and it is hoped that all work will be completed in September 2008.
Lost- yes, that’s Stetson Hall; the theater in up on the second floor.
According to an article in the Quincy Patriot Ledger today, the restoration work at Stetson Hall is nearly finished. They have even rented out an office suite on the ground floor. A new crimson house curtain has been hung on the stage and lighting trees have been installed on the auditorium sidewalls. Seats have not yet been installed in the balcony. The main floor is flat, polished wood, and will have movable seating, much like Memorial Hall in Plymouth, which has fixed seating in the balcony and portable seating on the flat main floor. An application has been submitted to place Stetson Hall on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Randolph Theatre Company will present the musical “1776” on stage at Stetson Hall for 5 performances in late-March. This show was listed in a community calender in the Quincy Patriot Ledger for Feb. 26,2009. This means that work on the auditorium and stage is finished and they are ready to use.
Stetson Hall opens today. There will be a ceremony at 6PM outside, and 730PM is curtain time for the musical “1776” on stage, the first of 5 performances this month. They are currently looking for a development manager. The effort to rehabilitate the building goes back 12 years, and the total cost has been $2.5M.
The Quincy Patriot Ledger had an article about Stetson Hall yesterday. The article mentions that there was an Easter concert on stage there, and there is an art exhibit currently. The auditorium has been restored to its appearance circa-1925, and they hope to add two reproduction chandeliers to the auditorium ceiling.
Any idea whether the restored theatre can accommodate movies?
I don’t know— it seems unlikely that they would have constructed a projection booth in the balcony or at rear of the main floor. But it’s possible. I’m guessing that the original auditorium had a projection booth at the center-rear of the balcony.
Stetson Hall was on a long list of theaters and halls in MA receiving state licenses as of Oct. 31, 1914. It was in Good condition.
The Mass. Historical Commission is about to submit a nomination application for Stetson Hall to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. If accepted by the National Park Service, the designation will take effect later this year.