Hudson River Music Hall Productions, Inc. (HRMH), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, was founded in December 2010 by musician/ composer Jonathan Newell, record producer Stu Kuby, Business Professor Nicholas Buttino, and Community member Judith Johnson. Its mission is “to create community through music and the related arts” in the Village of Hudson Falls, NY. Its objectives are “to enhance the quality of life and the surrounding communities by providing performance and educational opportunities through music, dance, theater and the visual arts” and to “attract economic development and opportunities for our community.”
Since its first production on December 19, 2010 in the former Washington County Courtroom, HRMH has brought over 150 events per year to the public; live music, art gallery openings, dance seminars, theatrical productions, private parties and many more opportunities for the community to gather through the arts.
In 2011, the Board and members of HRMH purchased the historic former Bell Telephone Company building. The 1881 structure now houses a music performance space that seats 100, black box theater with movie screen that seats 65, a visual arts gallery and a dance studio and music library. This building has become the community arts center offering music lessons, dance, yoga, karate, art exhibits and live performance. Through this venue, HRMH has nurtured local talent; offered affordable space for artists to work at their craft and realize their potential; and has become an incubator for creativity and entrepreneurship. Besides touring professionals, it hosts local talent showcases and offers Open Mic Night every Wednesday evening.
In 2013 HRMH partnered with the village board of Hudson Falls to create an outdoor amphitheater to showcase the natural beauty within the village. HRMH is still involved in what is now known as Grace Park with the hopes that this becomes a central park for the village with walking trails, a bike path and an outdoor stage for live entertainment.
In a short time HRMH began to outgrow its space and sought to accommodate the surge in performers and students with a larger performance venue. In 2014, the Town of Kingsbury offered to sell HRMH the Town of Kingsbury office building, which had been housed in the former 1923 Strand Theater building in downtown Hudson Falls. HRMH commissioned architectural studies and cost models, an Economic Impact Analysis, and other feasibility studies, and met with its members and supporters to see if this could be done.
On October 7, 2016, the Hudson River Music Hall Productions, Inc. purchased town hall and immediately began work to re-convert it to a legitimate theatre. Within 3 months the first concerts were held in the lobby. Within 6 months the first concerts were held in the Theater Space. When completed in 2019, the Strand Theatre will have a 350-seat auditorium with a 32’x24’stage for music performance, dance, theatre production and films, a WiFi coffee shop, an art gallery/lobby on the ground floor and retail/office locations on the second-floor front. By having a multi-faceted business, the new Strand Theater will help to fulfill the mission of the HRMH; to create a destination in downtown Hudson Falls, to attract new business, and to impact the quality of life for residents of upstate New York.