Plans to restore Beacon Theatre move forward

HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) - Plans are moving forward to breath new life into a piece of Hopewell history.

The city recently took ownership of the Beacon Theatre. On Tuesday night, city council will discuss what's being done to revitalize the venue.

Nestled on the corner of North Main Street stands the historic landmark. If you take a look inside --  the main entryway is in disrepair.

Nicole Bell: "There's some work that needs to be done in this area?"

"Yeah, there's a great deal of restoration that needs to be done. The molding, the stucco on wall, the floors need to be brought back to what they were originally," said Scott Firestine, director of the Appomattox Regional Library System.

Originally, the Beacon Theatre was called the Broadway Theatre. It was a hot spot in it's hey day -- back in the 40's and 50's.

"The theatre was a revenue stream and entertainment steam. They had shops on the first floor," said Firestine.

After sitting vacant for years a portion of the first floor has gotten a makeover. So have the community and ballrooms.

The center piece of the venue is the theatre. It's also the section that needs the most work -- including extensive repairs to the roof and ceiling. There are no seats in the theatre. Large projectors that are covered in dust sit on the floor.

"We want to rent it to folks to have events here and we want to keep improving it. If we can move it forward, it will be an amazing resource for the community - something they can get behind and use," said Firestine.

For now, the city is searching for a way to fund the multi-million dollar project. It hopes to have the Beacon Theatre completely restored by 2016.

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