Music to Our Ears

By J. Marshall Craig | Photography by Kris Hughes

There’s an urban legend that the spire atop the circa-1886 former Methodist Church at the center of Plymouth helped guide ships into harbor. In 2014, the once dormant historic building reopened as The Spire Center for Performing Arts and it has since become known as one of the finest live-music halls between Boston and New York City. The spire, as the metaphor would have it, now guides regional, national and even international talents to the town, bringing their fans with them.

Bob Hollis, president of the Greater Plymouth Performing Arts Center, Inc., widely credits the townsfolk at large for getting behind the $1.3-million-plus effort to turn the building into a world-class performance space. But there is little doubt that he led the charge, navigating the complex laws, community standards and historical doctrines pertaining to updating the centuries-old building.

The Spire’s historical interior remains intact, but its 225-seat main room (an additional 50 VIP balcony seats will be available after a soon-to-be-completed elevator installation) is now augmented by a state-of-the-art audio and lighting system. The Spire also houses classrooms, rehearsal spaces and a recording studio.

Hollis proudly declares that end-of-year statistics are indicating two-thirds of The Spire audiences are coming from Boston, New York and all points in between. “These people are coming to the shows, going for dinner, shopping, staying over in local hotels and B+Bs,” says Hollis. “We are becoming the arts destination we all dreamt we could be.”

This is having a trickle-down effect on burgeoning talent from all over the Cape and north and west of Plymouth, too. “We’re really building a community, Hollis says, acknowledging the support of Music Box owner Hollis Greene, whose popular shop is located immediately adjacent to The Spire.

“It’s all becoming a part of a greater good,” says Greene. “The original talent is here and now it’s getting a chance to shine.”

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