Built in 1914, Alexandria's Old Town Theater needs your help to restore and operate it to the original grandeur.
Built in 1914, The Old Town Theater in Alexandria, VA has seen better days. Little of the ornate artistry that covered the interior and exterior of this once beautiful landmark remains. Our goal is to re-open the theater to the community as a live entertainment venue as early as this fall. Every effort to restore, repair, or repurpose any of the original decor is being made. However, bringing it back to it's original grandeur is far beyond our means. With your help, we can make the theater's upcoming centennial celebration as grand as the night it first opened.
OLD TOWN THEATER ANNOUNCMENT:
Rob Kaufman of PMA Properties is pleased to announce that the Old Town Theater's 98 year tradition as an entertainment venue will continue! Much appreciation is due to the many Alexandria residents and business owners and his daughter who expressed such great sentiment with regard to the building's rich history. This strong pledge of support from the entire community has helped to breathe new life into this old building. Renovations are underway to return the Theater to it's original eloquence and should be completed by this fall.
A local production company will operate the theater as a live performance venue. A full calendar of matinee and evening performances featuring comedy, music, magic, and dance will be offered along with weekly appearances from nationally touring entertainers... a variety of shows with something for all ages! In addition to soft drinks and concessions... a gourmet, light fare menu will be offered, as well as a select list of beer and wine. Special events, catering, and full service production capabilities will be available.
With the theater's Centennial Celebration only two years away, each live show will feature an element of early cinema harkening back to a brief time in history when vaudeville and silent film shared a stage. When the theater opened as The Richmond in 1914, theater audiences throughout the country watched the vaudeville stars of yesterday, become the silent film stars of today, right before their very eyes. Icons like Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin paved the way from stage to screen and helped lead us all into a new era of entertainment.
Renovations on the theater are already underway with plans to open in the fall of this year. A new website will be up soon, and more details will be made available when the renovation is nearer to completion.
From the Office of Historic Alexandria
In April 1914, Ralph A. Steele and W. Harmon Reed obtained a permit to build a new theater on King Street between Columbus and Alfred streets. Plans called for the new building to rise two stories high with a brick front and a flat roof at an estimated cost of $7,500. The proposed theater was met with protest from some neighbors, such as the Demaine Funeral Home located next door, but construction proceeded and the Richmond Theater opened that summer. The Richmond was not only a place for entertainment but also served as a community hall, hosting bazaars, benefit shows and meetings, including an assembly of labor organizers led by Mary Harris Mother Jones in 1916. It also served as overflow classroom space for local students in 1915, and in 1917 as an impromptu meeting place for students who walked out of Alexandria High School to protest conditions there. In 1929, theater operators announced renovations for the Richmond, including a 21-foot electric sign and interior improvements like new seats and drapes. The theater became the Richmond Playhouse in the early 1960s but closed in 1972. In 1976, it became as a puppet theater and reopened as a twin movie theater in 1980, operating as the Old Town Theater. The Old Town Theater closed in the late 1990s but reopened and closed once again and today we await the reawakening of the theater.￼
Reserved seating throughout the theater. 15 rows with seating from 1-20 on most rows arranged in 4 seats aisle-12 seats aisle -4 seats. Seating on the main level allows access to the concessions and lobby areas located on street level. Restrooms are also located on the main level. Handicap accessible seating is available. Balcony VIP seating allows access to the Mezzanine and Balcony levels of the theater. These tickets include the dinner beginning 60 minutes prior to the show time and ending 5 minutes before the show begins. All inclusive. The Mezzanine level contains our historical display for the theater and additional restrooms for your convenience.
Our pre-show feast begins 60 minutes before showtime on our balcony. You will have the opportunity for up close interaction with the performers while you enjoy our chef’s creations. The offerings will consist of steamship round carved by our chef for you, fresh turkey breast and glazed pork loin, served with all the accompaniments you can think of, fresh vegetable selections, our famous Caesar salad, or fresh greens salad. If Cheese, crackers and fruit are your thing, we have a station for you. Last but not least is our Dessert Station, sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. All this includes beverages. With seating upstairs in the balcony drink service continues through the show. With seating in the theater you may bring a beverage to your seat with you but there is no service in the main theater.
We will offer valet parking service available for a reduced rate when you purchase your tickets (Valet is included with the Balcony ticket) to a show. The Valet Parking will be available to the general public for the regular rate. There is street parking in the area and a garage around the corner from us on Alfred Street.
King Street Metro is the closest train station and Alexandria offers a free shuttle called the Old Town Trolley that runs from the metro station to the Waterfront with a stop steps from our door.
pledged of $42,000 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on September 4, 2012.
Jul 6, 2012 - Sep 4, 2012 (60 days)
Pledge $25 or more
Show your support of the theater and Receive a certificate good for two tickets to a show after we open in the fall. (Projected value $40)Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $100 or more
Instead of regular tickets let us treat you special, support at this level receives a certificate for two VIP admissions with seating on the Balcony. VIP packages include a food and beverage package. (projected value $150)Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $450 or more
Our season pass for the theater lover. You will receive a certificate for twelve pairs of tickets. One pair per month for a year. We would also offer a private tour for you and a guest, so you can see first hand the progress as we move towards Opening Night in the fall. Also one month during the year you may upgrade to VIP Balcony seats, which include a food and beverage package. (projected Ticket value $590)Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $3,000 or more
You are invited to join our exclusive members only group, the Richmond Club. We will show our thanks to this group many times over the course of the year through special invitation only events not open to the public. We will start you off with a private tour for you and three of your friends so you can see the progress as we move towards Opening Night. In addition you will receive certificates good for four (4) Balcony VIP seats, which include a food and beverage package, once a month for a year. (Projected ticket value $3600, extra events priceless).Estimated delivery: Oct 2012