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Katie McQuaid's Scene in Manchester: Palace Theatre is in search of its history

December 22. 2013 9:09PM

Richard Hatin is looking for stories about The Palace Theatre, and I could tell him many. There was the time I and all the other Munchkins attempted to do our own makeup before the "Wizard of Oz," or when I got a glass of water accidentally dumped on my head during a performance of "Peter Pan," or when my mom tried to get me to really embrace my role as a Polynesian girl and dye my hair black for "South Pacific." (She finally let me wear a wig instead.)

But Hatin is looking for much more than anecdotes. He needs historical records — particularly from 1914 to 1974 — and he would like the people of New Hampshire to help him.

"We are hoping there are scrapbooks, photo albums, playbills, posters, costumes, anything at all which may be stored away in someone's attic or basement which might enable us to better and more completely tell the wonderful story of this incredible institution," wrote Hatin, who is working with his wife, Anne Marie, on the Palace Theatre Commemorative Book Project.

The couple, both volunteer ushers at the theater, has taken on the task as part of the 100th anniversary of the theater to be celebrated in 2014 and 2015. If anyone has items the Hatins can borrow for their work, please contact The Palace Theatre at 668-5588.

In addition, unusual and entertaining anecdotes from theater patrons, performers, volunteers and employees can be emailed directly to Hatin at

"Our goal is to produce a truly interesting book which celebrates through text, photos, references and stories the excitement and high-quality entertainment brought to Manchester over the many years by this local treasured institution," he said. "This story will be told best by the pictures and tales of those who have been associated with the Palace throughout the years."

It certainly will, and I can't wait to read it.

A very Dyn Christmas

Leave it to the crazy guys and gals at Dyn to eschew the formal Christmas card in favor of something a little more trendy. A video of employees flash mobbing several of their Boston and Manchester area clients with Christmas carols can be seen at

It takes guts to show up somewhere unannounced and just start singing. I give major props to the guy who has the job to start off singing solo. I am told the brave soul is Bedford native Tyler Gutierrez, who runs the Millyard Internet company's social media.

If you like video Christmas cards, there is another clever one on from the University of New Hampshire. It features university president Mark Huddleston and the school's mascot Wild E. Cat sitting by a fire with tablets as they reminisce about 2013 through Huddleston's Twitter feed.

I have a feeling we will be seeing many more of these fun video greetings in years to come.

NH365.ORG Event of the Week

You can find plenty of Christmas church service options at NH365.ORG. There is even a special children's Christmas Eve service at 4:30 p.m. at Brookside Congregational Church on Elm Street.

On Friday, Amoskeag Fishways is hosting its annual "Thank You" Open House from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The free event features presentations on "Active Winter Animals," "Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons" as well as fun crafts, yummy treats and door prizes.

For more information on fun stuff to do around Manchester during winter break, visit www.NH365.ORG.

If you have an interesting item for Scene in Manchester, write to There won't be a Scene column next week. See you in the New Year.

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