Bluebird Theater re-opens in Petersburg

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) – New life is being pumped into an old entertainment venue in Petersburg.

The Bluebird Theater was the place to be in its heyday. After being closed for more than three decades the doors are now open again.  The new owners have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fixing up the place.

"Everything in here had been totally destroyed. It was exposed to the elements for 5 years. Two-thirds of the roof was missing," said co-owner Emiliano Lopez.

Lopez purchased the battered building in 2005. It had been vacant since the 80's.

"It used to be all stadium seats. This used to be a different floor but we removed it and created a platform," said Lopez.

Now that the stage is set, Lopez is hoping to make Bluebird what it used to be.

"I'm calling the Bluebird the gateway to Petersburg entertainment. Hopefully it will be a place where you can have entertainment, a live venue such as local regional bands then as a rented facility for teens and universities in the area," said Lopez.

Back in the early 1900's the Bluebird was an entertainment hot spot.

"They had everything from flicker films to professional wrestling to it being a regular movie theatre," he said.

Lopez is hoping his investment will put the Bluebird back on the map.

"A lot of people from the area head up to Richmond because there's nothing to do here so we think this venue will start keeping people here in Petersburg - - spending money as well as attract people from Richmond," said Lopez.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.