Exclusive sneak peek: Hudson Opera House relaunches

A historic Hudson-based arts organization that welcomed us when we arrived in Catskill N.Y. recently gave us a peek behind-the-scenes of their newly renovated space. Reopening this month as Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House, we’re excited to share with you some details of its updated interior.

See the photo gallery below for details of how the building, which was named Hudson Opera House in 1881, looks now.

10 historic details: Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House

  1. The building first opened in 1855 and served as Hudson’s first city hall.
  2. Is New York State’s oldest surviving theatre.
  3. Held performances by poet Bret Harte
  4. Hosted Henry Ward Beecher for his rousing lecture about the abolition of slavery
  5. Invited Susan B. Anthony to lecture, the first time about abolishing slavery, the second time to rally support for women’s suffrage.
  6. In 1914, hosted Teddy Roosevelt who regaled the crowd with his adventures in Africa.
  7. Is a Greek Revival structure designed by architect Peter Avery.
  8. At various times, has also been a bank, a police station, post office and library.
  9. Was abandoned between 1962 and 1992 when a committee of local citizens purchased it to give it new life as an exhibition and performing arts center.
  10. For those who have dreamed in the past of a Hudson Opera House wedding, Hudson Hall is now available for rentals year-round.

What’s new

Hudson Hall now features:

  • a flexible 300-seat theatre
  • new heating, ventilation and cooling systems
  • high-end performance equipment
  • rehabilitated mezzanine, stage and support spaces
  • an elevator as well as new electrical and fire systems

The arts in Hudson Valley, a bright future

As our own space, Lumberyard, is taking shape in Catskill N.Y., we’re delighted to be a part of the Hudson Valley’s growing arts community.

Together with Hudson Hall, we dream of a future when more and more people will visit the area to enjoy new works by both legendary and emerging performance artists.

Hudson Hall looks forward to the role it will play entertaining travellers.

They’re also happy about what economic development the $8.5-million restoration project is already generating through the employment of local tradespeople.

“We’re really excited that with the reopening of its magnificent theatre, Hudson Hall is poised to become a cultural beacon,” co-director Tambra Dillon, tells us.

“Residents and visitors will be able to gather year-round and enjoy a range of quality performances, concerts, exhibitions, workshops, community events and talks.”

Lumberyard is excited too. We look forward to hosting you for exciting cultural events – at Hudson Hall as well as Lumberyard – during your next visit to Hudson Valley.

Upcoming 2017 events

For those seeking things to do in Hudson Valley, check out Hudson Hall’s opening season.

It begins with a selection of concerts with Classics on Hudson in May, continues through the summer with the return of LightField with Just the Facts: A Festival of Documentary & Vernacular Photography.

In November Hudson Hall will present a new production of The Mother of Us All, Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein’s 1947 opera inspired by Susan B. Anthony, directed by R.B. Schlather.

For up-close look at the building’s renovation:

  • a handful of tickets to The Proprietors Ball Afterparty on April 22 are available by calling (518) 822-1438.
  • Or, head to Hudson Hall for Community Day on May 21, where you can explore the new spaces and enjoy performances by Bindlestiff Family Cirkus. Tickets are free, but reservations are recommended.

We look forward to seeing you soon in the Hudson Valley!

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