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Cherished historic theater in Boothbay reopens, preserving legacy

Thanks to the vision of its new owners, the Boothbay Playhouse has been lovingly repurposed into an enchanting wedding venue.

BOOTHBAY, Maine — The Boothbay Playhouse, a cherished historic theater with a rich legacy dating back to the 1930s, has reopened its doors after 47 years.

Over the years, this iconic venue has witnessed the rise of renowned actors such as Christopher Reeve, famously known as Superman, who kick-started his career on its stage. 

The theater's fascinating journey took it through various incarnations, including nightclubs, bars, restaurants, and even a petting zoo, hosting a diverse range of activities. 

However, thanks to the vision of its new owners, Sara and John Berkeley, the Boothbay Playhouse has been lovingly repurposed into an enchanting wedding venue.

When Sara and John Berkeley acquired the building three years ago, it was being utilized as office space. However, they recognized its untapped potential and embarked on a mission to restore its former glory. 

Sara Berkeley, the owner, described their initial encounter with the building as a magical moment.

"We walked in here and it felt like magic, the barn is incredible, it's beautiful, the playhouse, the history. It was really an easy decision," she said. 

The transformation of the Boothbay Playhouse into a captivating wedding venue was a labor of love for the Berkeleys. 

The restoration process involved extensive work, including demolishing walls, rebuilding structures, refurbishing the roof, installing new lighting fixtures, and revamping the ceilings. 

The couple devoted over two years to these efforts, pouring their passion and dedication into every detail.

Interestingly, amid the renovations, Sara and John Berkeley celebrated their own marriage at the playhouse, making their investment not just in the venue but also in their future together. 

"It's extremely special, not just as a business but the place we got to start the next chapter of our lives as well," Sara said.

Credit: NCM

While the Boothbay Playhouse currently thrives as a sought-after wedding venue, there remains a glimmer of hope for theater enthusiasts. 

Sara and John often hear from people longing for the theater's revival. They acknowledge the sentimental attachment and express openness to the possibility of one day restoring the Playhouse to its theatrical roots. 

"People say to us, 'We miss the fact that it's not a theater anymore,' and there is no reason why it can't be again someday," John said, optimistic. 

From one extraordinary vision to another, the Boothbay Playhouse will forever retain its enchantment and preserve its cherished history.

As generations continue to marvel at its timeless charm, this historic venue stands as a testament to the power of preservation and the enduring magic of the performing arts.

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