About the Rockport Opera House
The historic Opera House is located in the heart of Rockport, a cozy harbor village on Penobscot Bay. The gray and white clapboard building was originally constructed in 1891 by a private investor. In 1908, the YMCA purchased the building and occupied it until they built a new facility in Camden in the 1950s. At that time they gave the building to the Town of Rockport.
In 1992, a million-dollar renovation created the lower level meeting room, kitchen, and Green Room. The 19th century charm of the auditorium was retained while creating a facility with 20th century conveniences. In 2014, the addition of ultra-high speed fiber optic capability and all the technical equipment that comes with it ushered the Opera House into the digital age. Now it’s possible to broadcast or receive events at unprecedented speeds, typically 500-750 megabits per second(!).
Inside, the handicapped-accessible and fully air-conditioned auditorium boasts perfect acoustics, an antique hand-painted canvas curtain, hand-done stenciling, a curved balcony offering wonderful views of the stage. The auditorium seats 410 people and is designed to present a variety of entertainment forms, including concerts, recitals, lectures, plays, and other types of performance programs. (The main floor space exclusive of stage is 49 feet wide and 46 feet deep.)
The space also is easily adapted for large- to medium-sized meetings, presentations, and graduation exercises. It can be transformed into a wonderful room with tables and chairs with comfortable seating for 125. The auditorium is a charming space for a romantic wedding reception with a sit-down dinner and dancing, anniversaries, and other types of group functions.
Amenities include a new professional sound system, projector with front projection screen, professional stage lighting system, high speed fiber optic internet access, a ticket booth, a portable lectern, comfortable padded chairs, and tables.
On the lower level of the building there is a comfortable handicapped-accessible meeting room that accommodates 80 to 100 people, restrooms, a Green Room complex for use by performers, and a drinking fountain. The meeting room is perfect for seminars, meetings, lectures, birthday and anniversary parties, dinners, and other events. The room contains a raised dais, which is ideal for meetings and can serve as a head table or buffet table for small weddings, dinners, and other events, a portable lectern, and three screens for use with a projector. A sound system and full-service webcasting services are available.
The fully-equipped kitchen on the lower level contains a six-burner/ two-oven professional stove with a griddle, a large restaurant double refrigerator, small freezer, professional under the counter dishwasher, and ample stainless steel counter space for food preparation. The kitchen is accessible to the upper level by stairs that are close by.
The lower level is accessed from the side of the building near the beautiful Mary Lea Park or via stairs from the upstairs auditorium. The park offers a natural amphitheater for a beautiful wedding ceremony overlooking the harbor, with stone-covered, layered paths, flowers, and plantings.
The entry hall features a colorful ceramic mural depicting the harbor, sailing, and 19th century harbor industries. The tiles contain the names of some of the contributors to the renovation project. A clothes closet is located in the hall.
The Green Room for performers has a sitting room, separate dressing area and two restrooms, one with a shower. There is direct access by stairway from the Green Room to the stage above. This can be a charming space for a bridal party to use as well.
The Opera House is owned and operated by the Town of Rockport. We regularly host monthly televised town meetings of the Select Board, Planning Board, and Zoning Board in the downstairs meeting room. The public is encouraged to attend these meetings, or watch them from home. For a full schedule of Town meetings, click here.
The Rockport Library regularly uses the Opera House for lectures, presentations, children’s programs, and adult classes and programs. For a full schedule of Library events, click here.
The Opera House is the proud home for the world-renowned Bay Chamber Concerts. For a full schedule of concerts and other BCC programs, click here.