Our Renovation Project


magine a small Maine community whose economic growth and cultural identity is informed and inspired by the performing arts; where greater access to world-class performers has led to a surge of economic development and well-being; where children participate with artists, musicians, and actors on stage, and learn from them in their own classrooms; and where these experiences are accessible and affordable for all.

If you live near Gardiner, Maine and have experienced the Johnson Hall Opera House, you likely know first-hand of this cultural and economic phenomenon.  The best news is that Johnson Hall is just beginning to fulfill its potential as a stimulating and vibrant regional asset.

To review what our process and progress looked like, click here to visit our Renovations News blog

The Project

After years of building a performing arts organization with a growing audience base, excellent educational programs, strong community partnerships, and a reputation for artistic quality and fiscal responsibility, Johnson Hall Opera House outgrew its space and in early 2024 completed a $9.2 million renovation to its three-story, two-theater performing arts facility. 

The completed theater includes:

  • A 400-seat theater on the 3rd floor, with an upper balcony, raked seating that improved sight lines, and state-of-the-art sound, lighting, and projection equipment
  • A gracious lobby area, restrooms, and a 2nd floor green room/dressing room for performers
  • An expanded foyer and full-service box office on the ground floor
  • ADA-compliant access to all areas of the facility, including an elevator

Community Partnership

Johnson Hall Opera House has developed strong community partnerships by collaborating with civic and arts organizations that also have been instrumental in creating economic development opportunities and enhancing community and cultural programming. Key partners include Gardiner Main Street, the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Kennebec Valley Art Association (Harlow Gallery), the Boys and Girls Club of Kennebec Valley, the Gardiner Public Library, downtown merchants, area school districts, and the City of Gardiner.

We have the capacity to host community events such as dance recitals, regional high school musicals, and graduations. Johnson Hall Opera House will also provide opportunities for local government and community nonprofit gatherings that require a large and welcoming space, state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment, and a comfortable environment.

Johnson Hall Opera House intends to be an engine of economic opportunity for the Kennebec Valley community. Building on 160 years of entertainment in the old Opera House, we are committed to this goal and welcome any and all support from across the state and throughout the Northeast. We invite you to join us!

Raising Funds

Our staff, Campaign Counsel, Campaign Committee, and Regional Advisory Council worked together to raise the funds needed to complete this historic project.

Our Professional Team

In addition to the many community volunteers, board members, staff, and generous donors, Johnson Hall Opera House worked with a corps of professionals to fulfill the vision for what now is our reality, including:

Come visit Johnson Hall Opera House in Gardiner, Maine!