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Lowell Memorial Auditorium Celebrates 100 Years As Center Of Merrimack Valley's Cultural Community

The milestone will be marked with a 100 days campaign, kicking off with a civic celebration on September 21, 2002.  

By: Aug. 23, 2022
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Lowell Memorial Auditorium Celebrates 100 Years As Center Of Merrimack Valley's Cultural Community  Image

Built shortly after the end of World War I to honor Lowell's veterans of all wars, the Lowell Memorial Auditorium will celebrate its centennial this fall, continuing a century-long tradition as the hub of arts and entertainment in the Merrimack Valley. The milestone will be marked with a 100 days campaign, kicking off with a civic celebration on September 21, 2002.

"For a century, this remarkable landmark has honored Lowell's sons & daughters who fought for our nation," said Lowell Mayor Sokhary Chau. "Over those 100 years the Auditorium has also been the gathering place for our community and our neighbors throughout the Merrimack Valley. And today, it serves as the nucleus of a vibrant downtown and host to many non-profit events, including the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lowell, and the Middlesex Community College Foundation's Celebrity Forum event. "

The Lowell Memorial Auditorium was designed by the noted architectural firm of Blackall, Clapp & Whittemore which was also responsible for designing Boston's Colonial, Wilbur and Metropolitan (now the Wang) theaters. The cornerstone was laid on September 25, 1920, and the building was dedicated on September 21,1922, presided over by Calvin Coolidge, former Massachusetts Governor and at that time, Vice President of The United States.

Shortly after it opened, the hall quickly became a center of civic life in Lowell. In addition to playing host to entertainment, conventions, civic and religious programs, Lowell Memorial Auditorium gained national attention in a 1940 edition of Life Magazine for its weekly bingo game, attracting up to 3,000 people.

From sports to music, the auditorium has seen its fair share of stars. Following World War II, the auditorium began hosting the Golden Gloves series, where Rocky Marciano began his legendary career. Some of the greatest names in music have played Lowell Auditorium, from the big bands of Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman in the 1940's through Frank Sinatra and Paul Anka to more recent headliners including Young Thug, Martina McBride and Bruce Springsteen.

Lowell Management Group took over the day-to-day management of the Auditorium in 2018,

"This anniversary has been front and center in our planning since 2018 when we took over management of this magnificent facility," said Lowell Management Group president Peter Lally. "Lowell Memorial Auditorium is part of this historical fabric of the city. In celebrating the centennial anniversary, we want to shine a light on the unique cultural offerings and cultural community that makes up this great city."

With Broadway shows, comedy, music, family entertainment and more, The centennial season of the Lowell Memorial Auditorium, which is made possible by Premier Sponsor Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union, kicks off September 8th with rock legend John Fogarty in Concert, and will offer a wide array of entertainment that ranges comedians Jay Leno and Lewis Black to the Lowell Irish Festival, Disney Junior Live on Tour, a Broadway series that features blockbuster Chicago, the Gloria Estafan musical On Your Feet! and more.

The centennial anniversary will be marked with a special civic event on September 21, 2022, at 4:00PM. The event, which is open to the public, will include a rededication ceremony with key community and veterans leaders, along with music and memorabilia, along. More details will be announced shortly.

"There is an extraordinary cultural scene here in Lowell, from The Lowell Folk Festival, the Western Avenue Studios, the Lowell National Historical Park, and Merrimack Repertory Theater, and much more," continued Lally. "Lowell is one of the most vibrant small cities in the country and we are excited to mark this milestone and continue investing in Lowell for the future."

The Golden Gloves celebrated its 75th Anniversary at Lowell Auditorium in March 2022 and will return as part of this centennial season.

For more information on The 100 Days of Lowell Memorial Auditorium events and the civic ceremony on September 21, visit lowellauditorium.com.



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