Public Auditorium/Music Hall, Cleveland, OH

The Public Auditorium and the Music Hall are two venues located in one building in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Also known as Public Hall, it serves as a performance space and convention center for the city. The auditorium was opened on April 15, 1922, the Music Hall was added on the opposite side of the auditorium in 1927. Because the two venues are placed back-to-back, they share a stage that can be opened to both halls by removing a common stage wall. A convention center was added underground in 1932. This massive building encompasses an entire city block, but contains a delicate beauty both inside and out. The Music Hall was not open the day my Dad and I were there (we were visiting the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame that day to see the Grateful Dead exhibit—a must see!), so the doors were locked, but there was an event going on in the Public Auditorium. The doors were open (yea!) and we walked right inside the lobby. We were greeted by a stern guard that would not let me take pictures or go into the auditorium for some reason. The lobby and the stage of the auditorium are very ornate, marble and gold fill the spaces, important events in Ohio history are chronicled along the upper wall. According to audience accounts, many a stellar “Dark Star” played in this space and one can see that the surroundings are most fitting. The Grateful Dead played both the Public Auditorium and the Music Hall in the 70s and 80s, their last Cleveland performance being in the Music Hall on March 3, 1981. The first picture is the Public Auditorium side of the building, the second picture is that of the Music Hall (although it does say Public Auditorium) side of the building. The Dead joined the list of many great bands that performed here—The Beatles, Elvis, and Led Zeppelin, among others. These performers are now part of music history, their memorabilia sitting in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame down the street, but this unique building remains for the public to enjoy.



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