Historic Virginia State Theatre Restored and Reopened on 75th Anniversary
2013 marks the 75th anniversary of the historical State Theatre of Culpeper and it is only fitting that on such a momentous occasion the theatre should reopen. Vacant for almost a decade, after nine years and approximately $9 million, the historic Virginia establishment has been renovated and expanded, preparing it for a vast array of musicians, films, theatre and dance performances in 2013. This past May, the reopening was feted with a week-long celebration. The 75th Anniversary Gala featured performances by Virginia-native Bruce Hornsby, Lyle Lovett and a tribute to Martin Luther King.
The goal of the renovations was to return it to its former grandeur – an Art Deco masterpiece originally opened in 1938. The original carpeting has been reproduced, along with the period wall sconces. The proscenium arch of the stage is the original.
At one time a vaudeville movie house, the renovated Virigina theatre is remaining true to its roots, while also catering to a modern-day audience. While the redesign of the 560-seat theatre is reminiscent of the Culpeper theatre’s 1938 grandeur, the state-of-the-art sound, lighting and projection equiptment are clearly products of the 21st century.
The lobby and reception areas have been expanded, but remain true to form and within the guidelines for restoring historic sites.
The historic theatre was founded by Greg and Liz Yates, Culpeper, Virginia residents who are the parents of Cameron Yates, who was editor of the Oscar-nominated Beasts of the Southern Wild.
A one-hour drive from Charlottesville, the restored Virginia theatre is sure to attract visitors from across the state and further. The center of Culpeper, Virginia has become a quaint shopping attraction within the last 15 years, boasting art galleries, boutiques, antique stores and restaurants. The theatre will offer year-round entertainment, boosting the Culpeper economy and adding a fun cultural vibe to the area. To check out their upcoming calendar of events, visit their website at www.culpepertheatre.org.