RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Good news for the Byrd Theatre, after our story about the break-in and financial hardship of the Carytown landmark, Richmonders have stepped up with several fund raising projects.
Since our report, the donations have come flooding in. So far the total reaches $30,000. The amazing part is 85% of those contributions have been under $50. They come from regular people, giving what they can and that's the theory behind an August 30 "Save the Byrd" fundraiser.
What would you do if you heard the heart of Carytown might have to close its doors? Mattie Coll had this answer on the way into Monday night's showing of "Shrek" at the Byrd.
"I'm willing to do pretty much anything for it and I think I'm not by myself," said Mattie Coll.
She's right. Chad Brown and Robey Martin had the same reaction.
"We thought something needs to be done. This is a treasure. This is a landmark and people don't always give it the attention it deserves," said Brown.
They harnessed the power of social media, using twitter to team with Style Weekly to put together a fundraiser. After weeks of meetings, the date is set. Monday August 30, Richmonders can come together to "Save the Byrd".
The event starts with a VIP reception at the Jefferson. To the Bottom and Back buses are providing free shuttle service to the Byrd for a movie premiere and plans are in the works for an after party at a nearby restaurant.
The 81-year old landmark needs about $5-million total to restore the theatre. So, there's more work to be done.
"This will be the initial experience. Come and check it out again because maybe you've forgotten. We're doing it on Monday. Come look at it. And if you love it, which we're sure that you will, we're going to continue to do this so we want you to keep coming," said Martin.
General Manager Todd Schall-Vess is hoping this is the start of a long term campaign.
"The Byrd is a part of people's lives. They take it seriously. It's part of their community. They want to make sure that the Byrd is always here," said Todd.
Only 100 VIP tickets to the event are left. Those go for $40 in advance. Plenty of general admission tickets are left. They'll cost you ten dollars beforehand or 15 at the door. Style Weekly has chosen to show, the movie, "Rock n' Roll Hotel", which was actually filmed right here in Richmond.
More information now about the Byrd and its fundraiser. You can buy your tickets to the event by clicking here. You can also follow details on twitter. The handle is "Save the Byrd". And to learn more about the movie premiere, check out this week's Style Weekly, out everywhere Wednesday.