Music Hall Theater

200 Broadway,
Farmington, ME 04938

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Additional Info

Architects: George M. Coombs

Functions: Retail

Styles: Baroque, Tudor Revival

Previous Names: Opera House, Franklin Hall, New Music Hall Theater

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Music Hall Theater

The theatre–one of the largest and most impressive buildings in downtown Farmington–was designed by architect George M. Coombs in a ‘Queen Anne’ style, and built by Cyrus Thomas. The building was owned by A.B. Dolbier and J.C. Tarbox. Fred Johnson was the theatre manager. It opened as a live venue in 1881, with the inaugural show being the musical comedy “Edgewood Folks”, starring Sol Smith Russell. Combined, the orchestra level, balcony, and two boxes totaled 600 seats. In addition to live theatre, concerts, and opera, the Music Hall began exhibiting movies in around 1913. The movies were accompanied by a small orchestra lead by J.C. French. It would continue to screen films until around 1928, when the theatre closed.

For the past several decades, the building has been a Reny’s department store. The auditorium, which is on the upper two floors, is still largely intact.

Contributed by W. Dustin Alligood

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 4, 2016 at 1:48 pm

Here’s an item from the November 7, 1939, issue of The Portsmouth Herald:

“Blaze At Farmington, Me. Farmington, Me.. Nov. 17 (AP)-Despite a strong wind, firemen prevented the spread of a fire early today that left the Music Hall block in the center of Farmington virtually a brick shell. Loss was estimated by Fire Chief Victor Huart at $25,000. The slate-roofed building on Broadway contained a vacant theater over a chain grocery and Mrs. Erland Hardy’s restaurant.”

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