Merrill Auditorium

A beautifully restored 1,900-seat performance venue, this majestic hall is one of the gems of Portland’s downtown Arts District and is located near many excellent restaurants.

Merrill Auditorium is owned and operated by the City of Portland. For rental information, contact Clare Norton at 207-808-5435.

Click Here for COVID-19 Information including Merrill Auditorium Health & Safety Protocols.
Directions & Parking

20 Myrtle Street, Portland ME 04101 – via google maps

  • From I-295 in Maine, take exit 7 (Franklin Street)
  • Once on Franklin Street, go to the fourth traffic light and turn right onto Congress Street
  • Merrill Auditorium/City Hall is one block from the parking lots on Myrtle Street
  • See parking options below.

The entrance to Merrill Auditorium is about one fourth the way down Myrtle Street, on the left side. The box office is located just inside the main entrance. If you are attending an event at the Rehearsal Hall, you’ll need to enter by a different door farther towards the bottom of Myrtle Street.

From Northern New Hampshire and Western Maine

  • Take US-302 into Portland. US-302 turns into Forest Avenue
  • Continue on Forest Avenue until it ends at the intersection with Congress Street
  • Turn left onto Congress Street and continue until you see City Hall on the left side of the street
  • Turn left onto Myrtle Street immediately after City Hall

There are several options for Parking, including

  • Top of the Old Port, an open-air parking lot on Pearl Street. (207) 871-1080
  • Elm Street Parking Garage, an hourly fee parking lot. (207) 871-1106
  • Temple Street Parking Garage   (207) 772-5762
  • Arts District Garage – Corner of Brown Street and Cumberland Street 

PortTIX is not associated with any parking company and can’t provide information on their rates or policies. Please check price and closing times before entering any garage.

Accessible parking for patrons with disability permits is available on both sides of Myrtle Street and on Congress Street in front of City Hall. Parking spaces are in high demand in Portland. To avoid disappointment, please allow sufficient time before the start of a show to find a parking space.

Venue Details

Who should I go to with questions on the day of show?
Ask a Merrill Staff member wearing A Red Vest. They are in charge of the ushers and are a very useful resource.

Barcodes & Ticket Scanners at Merrill Auditorium:
Tickets purchased from PortTIX bear a unique barcode for security purposes. Tickets purchased from other sources may bear an invalid, duplicate barcode or no code at all and may not be accepted by our ticket scanning system.

When arriving at the venue, please have your tickets ready to present to the usher for validation.

Does Merrill Auditorium have an elevator?
There is an elevator available in the lobby that provides access to all seating levels.

Does Merrill Auditorium have booster seats?
Merrill now has a limited number of booster seats, available from the event staff. 

Merrill Policies

What are the security policies for Merrill Auditorium?
Your safety while attending events at Merrill Auditorium is a priority. Please be aware of the following:

  • Patrons entering Merrill Auditorium may be subject to security checks including bag searches.
  • All bags are subject to search.
  • The possession of firearms on the premises is prohibited per Maine law Title 17-A Section 1057.
  • The following items will not be allowed into Merrill Auditorium
    • Weapons (this includes pocket knives)
    • Large bags and backpacks (This does not include diaper bags or purses)
    • Strollers
    • Fireworks
    • Outside Food & Drink
    • Mace/Pepper Spray
    • Poles & Selfie Sticks
    • Aerosol Cans
    • Frisbees
    • Beach Balls
    • Bats & Clubs
    • Drugs and/or illegal substances
    • Banners/Signs/Flags that could block the view of other guests
    • Tripods
    • Backpacks (This does not include diaper bags or purses)
    • Airhorns
    • Laser Pointers

Your cooperation with these procedures will help reduce the wait time in line and promote security within the venue. Please report any suspicious activity to the closest usher, event staff or law enforcement officer.

Are food and beverages allowed in Merrill Auditorium?
For the purpose of conserving the historically unique venue, food is not permitted inside the Auditorium. Bottled water purchased from one of the in-house concession stands is allowed inside the theater, other drinks are permitted providing that they have been purchased from the concession stand and are contained in one of the venue’s approved spill-proof tumblers. Concessions also offer a limited selection of snacks and fresh baked cookies.

What is the appropriate dress for attending a show at Merrill Auditorium?
There is no formal dress code at Merrill Auditorium. For our primary production companies Portland Symphony Orchestra and Portland Ovations, dress typically varies from dressy to business casual.  For holiday shows, many patrons like to dress up for the season.

Are cameras allowed?
For most performances, photography and other recording devices are not permitted. In the rare instance that the Promoter permits photography, it will be made explicitly clear on the event webpage.

What is your policy on mobile phones and electronic devices in the theater?
The use of electronic devices and mobile phones are not permitted in the auditorium. If you must bring a mobile phone or beeper into the auditorium, please turn it off before the performance begins. If you must use your mobile phone, please take the call in the lobby and remember to turn it off before re-entering the auditorium.

Is smoking allowed?
City Hall, including Merrill Auditorium, is a smoke-free building. Smoking is not permitted within twenty-five feet of the Myrtle Street entrance.

Do I need to buy a ticket for my child?
City regulations require that all patrons must have a ticket to enter the auditorium – even if an infant will be sitting on your lap. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian and must have a ticket for a seat adjacent to the adult. For information about the age-appropriateness of an event, please contact PortTIX at 207-842-0800.

When do the doors open prior to each performance?
For most performances, the doors at Merrill Auditorium open no less than thirty minutes before the scheduled performance time.

What is Merrill Auditorium’s late seating policy?
Latecomers will be seated at the discretion of the production company’s house manager. Latecomers are not guaranteed seats, so please arrive at the venue on time.

What number can be left for the babysitter in case of an emergency?
The emergency number for our Event Coordinator is 207-756-8433.

What does the facility fee do?
The facility fee goes towards repaying private and municipal bonds that helped finance the 1997 renovation of theater.

What do the ticketing fees do?
The per ticket handling fee covers the costs of running PortTIX, such as credit card processing fees, employee wages and ticketing software.

Restaurants near Merrill Auditorium

The Corner Room
110 Exchange Street
Phone:  207.879.4747
Italian inspired, casual, affordable restaurant featuring housemade pastas, pizzas & a large all italian wine list. HOURS: Dinner Monday-Friday 11:30AM-10PM; Saturday 5PM-10PM; Sunday 4PM-9PM. Late Night Menu Thursday-Saturday until 11PM. Happy Hour at the Bar Monday-Friday 4-6PM.

The Grill Room
84 Exchange Street
Phone:  207.774.2333
Serving local, naturally-raised wood grilled meats & fish.  Wood fired pizzas. Full bar. Outside patio. HOURS: Lunch Monday-Saturday 11:30AM-2:30PM. Dinner Monday-Saturday 5PM-10PM; Sunday 5PM-9PM. Bar 10PM until closing, serving our light menu.

The Black Cow
83 Exchange Street
Phone:  207.772.7774
A cocktail bar, soda fountain and burger joint that focuses on hand-made food and doubles-down on hospitality.
HOURS: Delicious cocktails and hamburgers served from 11:30am until midnight with bar service until 1am daily.

Back Bay Grill
65 Portland Street
Phone:  207.772.8833
Chef Larry Matthews delivers French, Asian & Italian inspired dishes with his own uniquely American touch.  Full bar.  Side street parking. HOURS: Dinner Tuesday-Saturday 5:30 PM-9:30 PM.