The Lodge Theatre on Ole Bull Square in Bergen is a club and concert venue, still owned by the Society of Good Intentions (Selskabet Den Gode Hensigt), established in 1798. In 1817, the Society took over the building of the Freemasons’ Lodge, which played an important role in the city throughout the nineteenth century as a meeting place for officials, merchants and master craftsmen, where – as in British clubs – one could have a chat and play cards. Over the years, the Association assembled a library of 30,000 volumes, available to the members (unfortunately, it burnt down in 1980).
In 1881, the building was dismantled and replaced by today’s building, which for many years was the grandest in the city, hosting heads of state and other distinguished figures, the annual city ball, the carnival, dance parties and concerts. Edvard Grieg was one of the first to use the Lodge for concerts, giving four performances there in 1884 and celebrating his sixtieth birthday there with a concert in 1903. Until the erection of the Concert Palace, in 1918, the Lodge was the venue for performances by the orchestra of the "Harmonien" Music Society, and later it hosted chamber music concerts and other artistic events. During the first Bergen Festival (1953), the concert by the Amadeus Quartet was held there, and on 9 June 1960, during the next Festival, Arne Nordheim’s Aftonland was given its first Norwegian performance there.