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“An Old Movie Theater Give New Life” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Mahaiwe Theater opened in September 1905 and is one of the oldest surviving theaters in the country. In its early years, the theater presented touring vaudeville acts and performers such as John Philip Sousa. It was transformed into a movie palace in 1930 and has been in continuous operation for over 100 years. Celebrated for its splendid acoustics, the theatre has played an important role in the life of the area.The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center was formed in December 2002 and launched its first six-month presenting season with a Centennial Celebration in May 2005. The theater has been newly restored, with great attention to historical detail, at a cost of over $9 million. The restoration was overseen by noted architect, Hugh Hardy, with engineering and construction by skilled Berkshire craftspeople and artisans. The theater is a recipient of support from Save America’s Treasures, the historical restoration has been certified by the Massachusetts Historical Commission and the National Park Service. In addition, The Mahaiwe is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places!The Mahaiwe is now a unique year-round performing arts center presenting music, dance, theater, opera, and classic films in the southern Berkshires. The theater seats almost 700 audience members. We have brought hundreds of live events as well as classic films, and the Metropolitan Opera “Live in HD” broadcasts to the theater’s stage and screen as well as hosted dozens of performances presented by others. The Mahaiwe strives to welcome the broadest possible community into our theater on an ongoing basis.
Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
24 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“An Old Movie Theater Give New Life”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2013

A theater sinking into disrepair is resurrected into a community-sponsored venue for the arts. A painstaking restoration with outstanding programming.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank gbmaestro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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66 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
83 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Pleasant surprise in small town”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 May 2013

Small intimate venue enabling close appreciation of artists. Probably a significant baby boomer audience.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank yayinmaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SpecialK55
Level Contributor
83 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“What a Find!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 April 2013

The Mahaiwe is a small theatre founded in 1905 and recently renovated. Although some seats afford better views than others, we couldn't see how you could go wrong with ANY of the seats.

Acoustics were amazing. We saw Brad Mehldau and Chris Thile - a performance worthy of separate reviews by those more qualified to write them. Suffice to say, we spent much of the time with our eyes closed, enjoying this heavenly sound in these artful surroundings.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank SpecialK55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Monterey, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
33 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“In the corner”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2013

Went to see David Sedaris at the Mahaiwe. All the obvious were easy and simple: searching for events, purchasing tickets, obtaining purchase confirmation.

The marquis blazed in the early evening and as always there's a buzz in front of the theatre as people filter into the lobby. My tiny little nit-pick: if the theatre has two windows why isn't one for will-call and one for purchasing tickets? On this evening a sold out crowd, it would have been swimmingly simple to open both windows for will-call.

The seats we purchased were, in fact, in the corner of the theatre furthest from the stage: last row, inside two seats. David Sedaris delivered his evening in his usual acute observer mode: we could see every move and hear every syllable. The acoustics of the hall and whatever enhancement they make really means there is no bad seat in the house. Obviously there is a difference if you require a seat 15 feet from the presenter. As a regular and inveterate listener to WAMC/NPR and radio in general, hearing the presenter is more critical to us than sight of the individual.

So, hats off to the Mahaiwe for their broad and deep schedule. Go have some fun next time you want to be entertained.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank ChrisCooks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Morristown, New Jersey
Level Contributor
162 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Beautiful historic theater”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 December 2012

The Mahaiwe has been restored to its original glory and is a lovely performing arts space. Worth the trip.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank NolaAK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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