Renovated theater back in business

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (NBC12) - History was made in downtown Richmond Saturday as the Carpenter Theater took center stage.

A $74 million renovation project officially wrapped up with the grand opening of the River City's performing arts center.

More than 1,700 took in the return of the Carpenter Theater.

As one performer put it, Broadway has come to Broad Street.

A historic first performance at the renovated facility that featured the nine resident companies on one stage.

From jazz to African dance

"It's the grand celebration," said patron Ellen Scott. "I wanted to be a part of it. It will make history"

"This is exciting," said Donna Cur. "We just saw Steny Weaver with the organ and he gave us a blast of that. And everything is so professional."

Just being at the opening night celebration was an event in itself.

"It was a big surprise for my wife and my mother-in-law and her friend," said Henrico resident Fred Geiger. "I decided to treat them all."

"Great! It looks beautiful," said patron Claudia Hernandez, "Amazing!"

Cameras were flashing all night as people perserved new memories of this 81-year-old landmark.

"I thought wow. I used to come here when it was a movie theater a long time ago," said Bill Clarke. "We're glad to be here."

"I'm really hoping it will draw a lot to downtown Richmond because it's needed," said Scott.

You can see the renovations for yourself Sunday.

There is a free open house from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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