Town Hall 1873: Home to Town Hall Theatre!
Home to Live and Local Entertainment in Port Perry
Since 1975 Town Hall Theatre has been the epicentre of arts and culture in Scugog Township. Audiences from all over come here to experience the very brightest and best in quality live entertainment. Home to live music, theatre, and dance, it is a renowned venue for local live performance as well as for some of Canada’s greatest talents.
Located in historic downtown Port Perry, Town Hall 1873 is a beautiful example of the unique culture and heritage found in small Ontario townships. Built in 1873, this landmark building has always been at the heart of the community, acting first as Port Perry’s municipal town hall and later as a fire station, a courthouse, a movie theatre, and now as a live performance venue.
Since re-opening as a theatre in the 1970s, the stage at Town Hall Theatre has been the premier spot to enjoy award-winning plays and musicals, live jazz, blues and classic rock, as well as top quality tribute acts, stand-up comedy, improv, children’s theatre and dance recitals, community theatre and more.
Town Hall theatre has also become a popular venue for special occasions, perfect for weddings, birthdays and retirement parties because of its retro style and modern amenities. It is an ideal location for board meetings and presentations, and it can be used as a rehearsal hall for plays, musicals, and music acts.
About Town Hall Theatre
Built in 1873, the Town Hall Theatre has been used in a number of capacities over the years. Originally the Township Office, jail and court house, it has also been a theatre, roller skating rink, movie house, fire station and ladies undergarment factory.
In 1973 a group of dedicated residents persuaded the Township Council to lease the abandoned building for 99 years at $1.00 a year rather than destroy it for a parking lot and the Town Hall was again reverted to a theatre. A stage was added but otherwise the hall retained its historic state for nearly three decades.
Bringing Back the Theatre
It became evident that the demand for the hall was outgrowing its capacity and plans were initiated for major renovations that maintained the historic integrity but fulfilled the modern needs of kitchen facilities, air conditioning, sloped theatre floor and comfortable seating, dressing rooms, backstage area and stage wings and most importantly, making the building fully accessible with lift and washrooms. The $1.2 million expansion and renovations took approximately 6 years in the planning, fundraising and building. This was made possible through the generosity of the public along with Provincial, Federal and Municipal grants and a Municipal loan.
Grand Re-Opening in 2004
In the fall of 2004, the newly renovated “Town Hall 1873 Centre for Performing Arts” opened first to audiences with an original musical production “Once Upon a Winter’s Eve” by local playwright Liz Auston, produced by Scugog Choral Society in November 2004. The official Grand Opening Ceremonies were then held in December as a sparkling Gala and Concert event starring renowned pianist Michael Kaeshammer and emcee Sylvia Mina.
A Cultural Centre of Downtown Port Perry
Town Hall 1873 Theatre has become a popular venue for anniversaries, weddings and meetings as well as performances by production companies, dance schools and individuals, including the resident and non-resident community theatre groups who call our stage “home”. The arts and entertainment scene is alive and well at Town Hall 1873 Theatre, earning us high praise as “The” Centre for Performing Arts in Durham Region.
Our Resident Community Theatre Groups
Town Hall 1873 Theatre has long been a popular venue for theatrical performances of plays and musicals. We are honoured to be the performance venue favoured by a number of concert and production companies over the years and, most especially, by those who have been here since the beginning. Borelians Community Theatre first performed on stage here in 1975, joined shortly afterward by SCS Musicals (Scugog Choral Society) in 1976. Year after year, these impressive community theatre groups stage award-winning plays and musicals on our stage and we are grateful for their continued patronage and support. Throughout the recent Covid-19 pandemic, where our doors were shuttered to the public for two full years, both these groups stepped forward with ideas for creative projects and performed these as fundraisers to help our historic venue when needed most.