The Palace Theatre 10th Annual Kitchen Tour

The Palace Theatre Serves Up the 10th Annual Kitchen Tour

photo courtesy of the palace theatre

This June, Manchester and Bedford kitchens take center stage for the 10th annual Palace Theatre Kitchen Tour.  A fundraiser for the historic 890-seat theater in downtown Manchester, the kitchen tour spotlights some of the area’s most innovative and creative kitchen designs. In past years, the tour was held in Amherst and Bedford; this year the tour returns to the Queen City in honor of the Palace’s Centennial year.

With seven kitchens to visit, the kitchen tour offers aspiring remodelers, chefs and curiosity-seekers a chance to see what’s cooking in kitchen design. “Visitors get excited to see what’s different in design, color, appliances, you name it,” says Tammi Graff, the Palace Theatre’s director of corporate development. “There are all sorts of innovations that make kitchens more functional and help make entertaining easier.”

What makes kitchens so appealing? According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly half of new homeowners decide to overhaul their kitchen within three months of buying a residence. Even a minor re-do can recoup costs when owners sell their home. “The kitchen tour is a great community effort for the Palace and lets people see what’s the latest and greatest in kitchen design,” says Leslie Rifkin of L. Newman Associates in Manchester. Rifkin, together with designer — and Palace Kitchen Tour founder — Emily Shakra, designed a contemporary open-concept kitchen on the tour in Bedford.

There’s a range of contemporary to traditional kitchens on the tour and plenty to appease trendsetters. Some trends to look for:

  • Large islands. Center islands are popular everywhere. “The longer the better,” says Shakra. Rather than the traditional eat-in kitchen, homeowners are building islands to accommodate three, four, even six people, making the kitchen a centralized gathering space in the home.
  • Stainless steel appliances and cabinetry. Stainless steel appliances offer a sleek, sophisticated look but it doesn’t stop there: stainless is also being integrated into cabinetry and open shelving.
  • Professional-grade stoves. Convection cook tops and chef’s stoves with options like a flat griddle are a must for many home chefs. “Many homeowners want a restaurant-quality kitchen,” says Rifkin.
  • Tile backsplashes. Decorative backsplashes in all kinds of tile add a unique touch.
  • White. White cabinetry is the kitchen color scheme of choice, according to a recent survey by Gray is trending.

Whatever the trend on display, the kitchen tour is a day a well spent, says Rifkin. “It appeals to different visitor tastes and the spaces you see are amazing,” she says. “And it’s for a great cause.” 

The 10th annual Palace Theatre Kitchen Tour

  • When: Sunday, June 1. Visitor registration starts at 9:30 a.m. at Granite State Cabinetry, 384 Rte. 101 in Bedford. Visitors can stop in to pick up a map and brochure until 1 p.m. Homes are open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Cost: $45 pp ($50 the day of the tour). Tickets may be purchased through the Palace Theatre box office or online.
  • Details: The tour is self-guided, so visitors can start at any home. Tickets include an open-seated luncheon at Baron’s Major Brands, 967 Gold St., in Manchester, catered by O Steaks and Seafood from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., and an after-party and wine tasting at LaBelle Winery, 345 Rte. 101, in Amherst.

Proceeds from the Kitchen Tour, which is the Palace Theatre’s largest fundraiser, benefit theatre programs, including professional shows and youth events. The event kicks off a year-long 100th anniversary celebration. For more information, visit


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