Ashland historic movie theater to become new venue

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - Yet another sign of growth in the town of Ashland. After nearly 40 years, there are now plans in place to officially reopen the Ashland Theater. The venue will now serve as a community center and benefit non-profits.

There's already some notices up about events that are going to be going on at the theater in the coming months, and that is a welcome sight to those who've hoped to see this venue thrive once again.

It's hard to drive in or out of the town of Ashland without noticing the theater. Right now, there's little sign of life, but that will soon change. This venue is re-opening next year as the Ashland Theater Inc. and will host all sorts of performances including movies, plays and concerts. Part of the proceeds will go to operating costs and part to other organizations.

"Our main mission is to benefit large non-profits that are already in business that need help; specifically the McShin foundation, which is a substance abuse foundation," said Executive Director Anne Woodward.

The ladies working next door at Indulgence Salon and Boutique were thrilled to hear the theater is re-opening soon. Sharon Street spent her summers in Ashland with her grandmother and has fond memories of this space.

"As a child, I used to walk to the movie theater every weekend with girlfriends up here.  It's an icon here; it's been here forever, and it's so nice that they are going to be opening up and using it again because it does have memories for me," said Street.

The re-opening theater is just one of many signs of growth in the town of Ashland right now. Just last week, Randolph Macon College broke ground on a new dorm: all steps in making Ashland a destination. Town leaders and those working here agree the theater will bring in people, which is good for business.

"The tax dollars that will be generated and the feel good, you just can't really put words to that," Woodward said.

Tammy Snelson who works next doors said, "I think it will be great; it will be great for all the businesses in Ashland and it will draw attention to them."

The official grand opening is scheduled for March of next year.

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