Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center14 Castle St, Great Barrington, MA 01230
History: Built in 1904 by a syndicate of local businessmen, The Mahaiwe is one of the oldest surviving theatres in the country. Spacious enough to serve traveling Broadway shows of its time, it has also served as the site for vaudeville, silent movies, "talkies" and concerts. Celebrated for its splendid acoustics, the theatre has played an important role in the life of the area. The Mahaiwe opened on September 5, 1905. It had seats for 1000, dressing rooms and a "modern ventilating system." Decorative paintings of garlands and flowers enlivened the walls and ceiling, and the lobby was rose and ivory with mosaic borders. Much of this dcor will be restored. The Mahaiwe has recently been designated as an official project of "Save America's Treasures," a Millenium project of Hillary Clinton and the National Trust for Historic Preservation thus qualifying it for a federal grant of $250,000. Application has been made for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. In January 2003, it was transformed into the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center with an exciting future as a year-round center of cultural life in the Berkshires.