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The 8 Best Historic Theaters in New Hampshire!

nh historic theaters

Theater is deeply engrained in the history of America, and some of the greatest entertainers of all time have performed in the iconic theater spaces in New Hampshire. Some of those theaters are still in use today. From 19th century theaters to lavish opera houses, here are the best in the state! 

The Music Hall, Portsmouth, NH

The Music Hall has graced Chestnut Street in Portsmouth since 1878. It has recently undergone some big renovations, and sees performers the likes of Jay Leno, Lyle Lovett, Michael Bolton, and more.

Palace Theatre, Manchester, NH

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Palace Theatre in Manchester was built in 1914. The stage production theatre features musicals and plays that frequently star nationally-recognized talent.

The Derry Opera House, Derry, NH

The Derry Opera House is located inside the historic Adams Memorial Building that was built in 1904. Interior renovations have taken place twice, due to fires in both 1914 and 1927. Local theater groups and children’s dance and theater companies perform here. You can feel the history permeating through the walls of the Derry Opera House! 

Players’ Ring Theatre, Portsmouth, NH

The Players’ Ring is housed in a 19th century brick building at Prescott Park in Portsmouth’s historical South End. Frequent theater productions take place in what is known as a “black box” theatre.

Rochester Opera House, Rochester, NH

Built in 1908, the Rochester Opera House features stunning historical details in its architecture. Sadly, by the 1980s, it was in ruins. At the behest of the city’s mayor, a community effort to restore the opera house began in 1996. It now features countless community productions. The theater boasts more than 800 seats and is absolutely beautiful. 

Garrison Players Arts Center, Rollinsford, NH

The Garrison Players Arts Center is housed in a grange hall that was built in 1895. It was in disarray when the theater company purchased it in 1988. Today, it is filled with music and drama productions, many of which are performed by kids in the local community. 

The Strand Ballroom, Dover, NH

In recent years, families have loved the low-cost movies showing at the Strand—now called the Strand Ballroom. The theater was built in 1919 for both vaudeville theater and movies. These days, adults can take ballroom dancing lessons at the theater, too. 

The Colonial Theatre, Keene, NH

The Colonial Theatre opened in 1924. Since then it has featured movies, vaudeville performances, operas and more. These days it operates as an independent theater, showing films and live performances.

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