The Murphy Theatre


by Jennifer Hollon

The Theatre Speaks

“I am the Murphy Theatre. I am a living history, created by your memories and your interest in my being. Through the last one hundred years, I have seen many changes within my walls. I remember the fabulous entertainers, the movies, the audiences, and the applause. I am getting old, historic they say, but my grandeur remains.

Walk through my lobby doors across the marble floors. Notice the cherub plasters along the walls, and look up to my gilded ceilings. Round the corner to my auditorium, where beautiful decorative wooden panels line the walls highlighted by the ornate sconces illuminating my aisles. Feast your eyes on the plaster medallions dotted among the chandeliers on the ceiling beneath the balcony. Behold my burgundy curtains, draping my stage, and gaze up past the golden opera boxes to my magnificent, arched ceiling. I am a gift for the ages from Charlie, but I need you to continue to support and preserve me. Attend my shows, volunteer, become a Murphy member. I am your gift, your history, your theatre.”


The Historic Murphy Theatre: The People, The Entertainment, & The Monument by Jennifer Hollon

Backstage at the Murphy Theatre Wilmington Ohio
Backstage at the Murphy Theatre Wilmington Ohio


Community Arts at the Murphy


The Murphy Theatre Children’s Summer Arts Program debuted in 2012. Since then, our programs and events for children and families continue to grow. 

The opportunity for young people to take part in artistic experiences at The Murphy remains a top priority. These programs acquaint young people with different kinds of art media to expand the use of our historic theatre in downtown Wilmington as a community center and provide the accessibility to experience diverse art and cultural events by our community. 

Classes are taught by community leaders, artists and musicians, and educators.

Murphy Projects, Past & Present:

Murphy Kids- A crowd favorite at our annual Christmas Show!

Charlie’s Bucket Band, led by Chip Murdock- Instructions in exploring drum-like rhythms on five-gallon buckets, and learning to turn ordinary items into percussion instruments.

Halloween Hoopla- Partners with Main Street Wilmington to bring safe, free, family fun downtown. Classic cartoons, face painting, arts & crafts, scavenger hunt, and more!

The Clinton County Community Kids Choir, Coming 2022

 the murphy studios

The Murphy Theater is also home to several small studio spaces above the lobby accessible by exterior stairs on Main Street. These artist studios are available for rent through the Murphy Theatre. Ideal for painters, sculptors, designers, and more!                 *Due to the age of the historic theatre, the studios do not yet have access via a lift or elevator, only via steps.


Dancing With the Stars



Community favorite annual fundraiser in partnership with Clinton-Memorial Hospital. Local leaders, dance students & teachers, and community members participate in Wilmington’s favorite annual fundraiser, dancing the night away for a fun-filled evening of fund-raising and dance.


“The Murphy Theatre is the crown jewel of downtown Wilmington. We are lucky to have such a beautiful landmark at the center of our community.”

Murphy Patron

Get In Touch

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50 W. Main St., Wilmington, OH 45177