The Hershey Theatre is home to off-Broadway shows, concerts, comedy acts and dance performances. It’s an impressive building with a gorgeous interior that’s worth a stop on your visit to Hershey, PA!
As a local, I’ve lived within 15 minutes or so of the Hershey Theatre for almost my entire life. I can’t even count how many times I’ve driven past it or seen a show inside it.
And you know what?? It still gets me every single time.
I don’t think there’s ever been a time I’ve driven past it without glancing over and appreciating it’s beauty and grandeur. it’s one of those sites that you almost never get used to. It impresses me constantly.
But when you step inside, that’s where the real magic happens! It’s almost impossible to walk through the Hershey Theatre and not bump into somebody because you want to constantly be looking up at the ceilings!
They are pretty much my favorite ceilings of any theater I’ve ever been at and I been to dozens of Broadway shows. From marble to gold foil and more, arches to bas relief, it is stunning and seems to go on and on.
The inside foyer (between the main foyer and the seating area) has a canopy of gold tiles that is patterned after St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice, Italy. It took artisans over 2 years to complete!
The History of the Hershey Theatre
While I’m a fan of pretty much anything that has to do with Milton Hershey, one of my favorite parts of his story occurred during the Great Depression. Hershey wasn’t immune to the effects of the Great Depression, so Mr. Hershey developed “The Great Build Campaign”.
This was a way to employ over 600 people who found themselves unemployed due to the Great Depression. From 1929-1933, Mr. Hershey supported them and their families by providing jobs that led to the building of some of Hershey’s most famous landmarks: The Hotel Hershey, Hersheypark Arena, Hersheypark Stadium and the Community Center Building.
At the time, the Community Center Building housed a number of different attractions, but the Hershey Theatre was the center of it. Today, we just refer to the entire building as the Hershey Theatre. And for over 80 years now, it has been a favorite spot in Central PA to see live performances!
Where is the Hershey Theatre?
I have always loved that the Hershey Theatre is pretty much as downtown as you can get! It sits almost exactly on the main square in town and seems to anchor everything.
It’s directly across the street from the Melt Spa, diagonally from Houlihan’s and Devon restaurants and across the street from ChocolateTown Square where they have seasonal farmers markets and live performances. It stands proud right in the center of it all where it belongs!
So you really can make a whole evening out of a night at the theatre! Arrive early and have dinner at Houlihan’s or Devon and then just walk directly across the street when it’s time for your show.
Parking at Hershey Theatre
If you do choose to have dinner first, there is a parking garage adjacent to Houlihan’s and Devon restaurants. The parking garage is completely free. You could just keep your car parked there and then after the show head back for a nightcap at the bar before grabbing your car and heading home.
The other option is to park right at the theater. The Hershey Theatre also offers completely free parking. You can either enter the theatre parking lot from the rear of the building or there is a side street on the left hand side that has easy access to the parking lot.
There are parking attendants on-hand the night of the shows to help direct you. They also make it easy to find the handicap accessible parking in the rear of the theatre. This leads you directly to the main entrance doors (also located in the rear of the building).
Hershey Theatre Schedule
You can always see the full list of upcoming shows directly on the Hershey Theatre website itself. It’s an easy to use site that also gives background info on each show and allows you to purchase tickets directly.
Be sure to check back often, though, because it gets updated frequently.
Keep an eye out for some of the holiday shows coming up like Straight No Chaser, Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical, The Hershey Symphony Holiday Spectacular, and Central PA Youth Ballet Presents the Nutcracker. The holiday shows at the Hershey Theatre are one of our favorite Christmas traditions and a perfect way to kick off the holiday season!