The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts is managed and operated by the Hobby Center Foundation, formerly known as the Houston Music Hall Foundation. The Foundation is organized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Our mission is to expand Houston’s reputation as a world-class cultural center by providing a premier performing arts facility, fostering accessibility to the performing arts and promoting arts education, with an emphasis on musical theater.
The Hobby Center opened its doors in 2002, establishing a new era for the performing arts and cultural quality of life for Houstonians of all ages and backgrounds. The venue was purpose built with musical theater in mind, bringing the best of Broadway right here to our own backyard.
Our grounds were previously home to the Sam Houston Coliseum and Music Hall. Both built in 1937, the Music Hall played host to many theatrical, dance and music performances, while the Coliseum at one time was home to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, hosted the first National Women’s Conference in 1977 and saw music greats like Elvis Presley, James Brown, The Beatles, and Ike and Tina Turner on its stage.
Even earlier than the Music Hall and the Coliseum was Sam Houston Hall, built in 64 days for $200,000 to host the 1928 Democratic National Convention, held June 26 -29. New York Gov. Alfred E. Smith received the party’s nomination, but was later defeated in the general election by Herbert Hoover.