Historic Tours

Zhana Morris giving an historical tour

Secrets, pirates, ghosts & traditions of The Music Hall

Historic Tour Schedule

“The Music Hall [is] a Victorian-era theater with a fabulous Wizard of Oz-like Beaux-Arts lobby. – New York Times

“Portsmouth is a significant stopover…The newly renovated Music Hall, right out of the vaudeville era, is the cultural mecca for the area.”  – The Montrealer

“The crown jewel of Portsmouth’s cultural scene” – Yankee Magazine

Visitors to The Music Hall’s landmark Historic Theater are invited to travel through time as the performing arts center launches its new multimedia Historic Tours to coincide with its 135th anniversary. Entitled “Secrets, pirates, ghosts and traditions of The Music Hall,” the tour provides participants with the inside scoop on the stories of sea and of land; of ghosts and of myths; and of fiery destruction and rebirth that have defined one of the oldest operating theaters in the U.S.

Inspired by compelling multimedia tours in Europe’s best theaters, the new Music Hall tour celebrates a journey through time that began in 1803 when a meeting house called The Temple was built on the Chestnut Street site that now houses The Music Hall’s majestic Historic Theater. The tale of The Music Hall comes vividly to life as visitors move from the glorious Art Nouveau Founders Lobby unveiled in 2008 to the backstage rigging built by sailors in the late 19th Century. Visitors can stand on the same stage that has held performers from Buffalo Bill Cody to Ethel Barrymore, and from Lily Tomlin to Al Green. During the approximately one-hour multimedia tour, the backstory of this remarkable theater will be revealed by a rotating cast of Music Hall personnel.

The new tour, offered monthly year-round, is part of the vibrant historic scene in Portsmouth that includes a rich spectrum of historic sites and tours and information centers. These include the Visitors Center at the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce and the Discover Portsmouth Center, Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail, Harbor Trail, Strawbery Banke Museum, USS Albacore Museum, Portsmouth Athenaeum, Moffatt Ladd House and Garden, Gundalow Company, Historic New England, and many more.

Historic Tour Sponsor

Pickwick’s Mercantile


Tickets for the Historic Tour are $12.50 ($10.00 for members), and can be purchased at The Music Hall box office in the Historic Theater, 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth, over the phone at (603)-436-2400, or here.

Box office: (603) 436-2400     |     24-hour Film Line: (603) 436-9900     |     Business Office: (603) 433-3100