Transforming Mechanics Hall for "Spirited"

The Great Hall takes the spotlight in "Spirited," a Christmas musical starring Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell. 

How long did it take to transform Mechanics Hall for the film?

"[It took] three weeks to transform the Great Hall, one week for the movie shoot and one week for breakdown/move-out."

Any memories from team members who were present during production?

"We were all fascinated by all the moving parts, trades people, actors, extras, dancers, set specialists, wardrobe, etc. that it took to get it done in the 5 weeks contracted! From our perspective, it was all about the safety of the building while maintaining their level of excellence for the shoot. We are still singing, 'We’re bringing back Christmas, we’re bringing back cheer,' which we heard over and over again during rehearsals and the actual live shoot - we still laugh about it."

Any insight on why Mechanics Hall was chosen?

Pulled from this piece in the Telegram & Gazette, "'Spirited' is the latest re-imagination of Charles Dickens' classic 'A Christmas Carol.' And what a better place to do a modern-day take on Dickens than Mechanics Hall, which has a strong history with the celebrated 18th-century novelist. On March 23, 1868, Dickens gave a reading of 'A Christmas Carol' at Mechanics Hall, then only 11 years old." In addition, Gerald Dickens, great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens, has performed his one-man show of "A Christmas Carol" at Mechanics Hall as well.

Has Mechanics Hall been transformed at this scale before? 

"Some of the winter balls that are staged here for celebrations and fundraisers get elaborate, but we can’t recall anyone else installing a rotating stage!"

Off the big screen, does Mechanics Hall host holiday events?

"Absolutely–from holiday galas to Dance Prism’s production of 'The Nutcracker,' to Music Worcester’s presentation of 'The Messiah,' to this past year’s Blissful Tea, December is one of Mechanics Hall’s busiest months."

More on Mechanics Hall

Mechanics Hall is the premier event venue and concert hall in Central Massachusetts. Renowned for its elegance and sound qualities, the Hall's cultural significance, its stunning décor and architectural detail have earned it a listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The Hall is known as the finest pre-Civil War performance hall in America. Mechanics Hall is an acoustical masterpiece sought after by musicians and recording artists worldwide, and it is a beloved meeting space ideally suited for special events.