A historic Richmond theater has a new look and a new name. The former Landmark Theater is now officially the Altria Theater.
Friends of the arts came out to see the unveiling of the new and improved marquee that now says Altria Theater.
"It's the next chapter in this theater," said Jay Smith. "It's had a really rich history. Today's announcement of officially making the name change to Altria Theater is pretty exciting."
For more than a year, the theater has been under renovation. It's been a slow process, because the theater has remained open every step of the way.
"So far, we've gotten a lot of things that patrons don't see, the HVAC system, the mechanical, plumbing, electrical lighting," said Smith.
But there are some things that will jump out right away. One of the things you'll notice, if you're on the main level, are brand new seats making for a much more comfortable viewing experience.
The chairs on the upper tiers will be replaced in the fall, but the improvements don't end there.
"There is a new stage, and the bathrooms, we've increased the number of them and the size of them, and those have been completely renovated," said Smith.
The lounges are set to get a makeover. Even a new elevator is in the plans.
"A theater like this probably only gets a renovation like this from top to bottom about once every 80 years or so, and so this is a once in a lifetime renovation and it's in need of it," said Smith.
This four-phase makeover is expected to be complete in November.
"Richmonders have known this theater by several names over the years, but I think everybody walks away with a great experience here. Whether it was their high school graduation or whether it was where they saw Elvis, we hope people will still come back and remember those experiences here," said Smith.
Thursday, April 17 2014 9:05 PM EDT2014-04-18 01:05:03 GMT
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