Memorial Hall is an auditorium on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It is home to the Carolina Performing Arts Series. and also hosts university events such as commencement ceremonies for various academic programs.

At nearly 63,000 square feet in size and with a seating capacity of 1,434, Memorial Hall is the largest auditorium on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. It is equipped with a full complement of audio-visual and logistical equipment to support a wide variety of performances including opera and theater, dance, and concerts by jazz, world music, and folk groups as well as symphonies and orchestras.  

Memorial Hall technical specifications and building plans


Parking can be an issue when attending an event at Memorial Hall. The small campus lots adjacent to the facility are usually reserved for donors, performers, or patrons with special needs. There are a number of parking options on campus within walking distance. Parking decks, parking lots, and metered spaces are available in downtown Chapel Hill, many less than a ten-minute walk away.

Downtown Chapel Hill parking map

Memorial Hall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008Jimmy Fallon and President Barack Obama  at Memorial Hall in April 2012. Photo by Pete Souza, official White House photographer.


Memorial Hall was completed in 1931 as a Colonial Revival–successor to one of the few buildings on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus that was ever torn down. The first Memorial Hall was completed in 1885. It was originally intended to honor David Lowry Swain, the university's president from 1835 to 1868, but once finished, its purpose was expanded to memorialize the 287 alumni who died during the Civil War, along with other university notables. The hall was used for commencement exercises, as a gymnasium, and for theater performances. The Victorian Gothic building had to be razed because of extensive dry rot at the base of the tremendous trusses that supported its domed roof.

Memorial Hall underwent a three-year, $18 million renovation that was completed in 2005. Additions made to the east and west ends of the building allowed for a larger lobby, new grand staircases and more rest rooms. The state and the stage house on the back of the building were replaced and a central heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system and new lighting and sound systems were added. The building's signature chandeliers were refurbished and hang from a Carolina-blue ceiling.

The building reopened September 8, 2005. The next evening, singer Tony Bennett gave the first performance in the renovated hall.  On April 24, 2012, the late-night television show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon was filmed in Memorial Hall, with a special guest appearance by U.S. President Barack Obama.

Past performances in Memorial Hall

The original Memorial Hall at the University of North Chrolina at Chapel Hill. Photo by UNC-Chapel Hill.Memorial Hall undergoing renovation in 2003. Photo by the University of North Carolina at Chapel HillMemorial Hall after the 2005 renovation. Photo by Dan Sears, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

114 East Cameron Avenue Chapel Hill


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