Infinity Hall is a performing arts venue located in Norfolk, Connecticut located in a historic building from 1883. Another venue also named Infinity Hall is operated by the same company in Hartford, Connecticut.
Infinity Hall, Norfolk
The venue was constructed in 1883 and originally functioned as a combination opera house, barber shop and saloon. The building was chartered as the Norfolk Village Hall, although it was commonly known as the Norfolk Opera House. The name of the building’s designer was not recorded, and an unsubstantiated rumor credited the work to noted architect Stanford White.
The Norfolk Opera House hosted vaudeville and theatrical presentations until the late 1940s. For the following four decades, it was used as a restaurant and a grocery store. The building was closed in 1994 and remained vacant for four years.
In 1998, the building was purchased by playwrights and theater producers Maura Cavanaugh and Richard Smithies for US$50,000, who undertook a massive US$650,000 restoration that included the rebuilding of an observation tower that was part of the original structure. Cavanaugh and Smithies renamed the venue the Greenwoods Theater and brought dramatic and musical productions to its stage. Cavanaugh and Smithies operated the Greenwoods Theater until early 2007, when financial difficulties forced them to close the venue.
Rebirth as Infinity Hall
The venue was purchased by Dan Hincks for US $240,000 in a tax auction on February 3, 2007. Hincks, the CEO of the Farmington, Connecticut-based printing and publishing business Data Management, undertook further interior and exterior restorations of the venue, including substantial structural improvements, a new restaurant named Infinity Bistro, a world-class Meyer sound system, modern green room facilities, cabaret mezzanine seating, new wood finishing and expansion of the lower level. The resulting renovation created a 300-seat performing arts theater and restaurant destination. Hincks renamed the venue as Infinity Hall, telling an interviewer: "I called it Infinity because the sky is the limit when it comes to bringing people together with music."
Infinity Hall’s opening night took place on October 17, 2008, with a concert by singer Kenny Rankin. Subsequent concerts featuring Melissa Manchester, Spyro Gyra, Richie Havens and Todd Rundgren. In May 2009, an in-house bistro was opened. In its first two years, Infinity Hall hosted more than 400 concerts attracting in excess of 80,000 patrons. In 2010, Infinity Music Hall was voted Best Music Hall in New England by Yankee Magazine.
Infinity Bistro, which opened May 1, 2009, has been widely acclaimed as one of Connecticut's finest restaurants. It was voted Best New Restaurant in Litchfield County and runner up statewide in 2010 by a readers poll for Connecticut Magazine.
Beginning in 2012, Connecticut Public Television and American Public Television began a live series of musical performances at Infinity Hall by well-known artists as part of their Infinity Hall Live TV series.
Infinity Hall, Hartford
Infinity Hall, Hartford is located in a modern building on 32 Front St, in the Front St Entertainment District, near the Convention Center. It seats about 500 total – 415 on the stage level plus 90 in the Mezzanine. The Mezzanine offers full wait service for dining before and during shows.
- “The View From/Norfolk; Raising the Curtain on an Old Jewel,” New York Times, July 18, 1999
- “A Pitch-Perfect Vision For Opera House,” Hartford Courant, January 4, 2009
- “The New Guys,” Fairfield Weekly, October 16, 2008
- “Center Stage - Music hall ready to put on a show,” Farmington Post, November 18, 2008
- "Infinity Hall Live", TV series, Connecticut Public Television.