Beacon Theatre

401 N. Main Street,
Hopewell, VA 23860

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 12, 2015 at 8:45 pm

The Beacon’s Facebook “About” page (here) has a different history than our description. It says the theater was built by the Knights of Pythias in 1928.

There was a Broadway Theatre operating in Hopewell at least as early as 1916, when it was mentioned in the September 30 issue of The Moving Picture World, but it was apparently a different house than the Broadway that opened in 1928.

The NRHP registration form for the building says that the Broadway Theatre in the Pythian building opened on November 28, 1928. The house became the Beacon Theatre under new ownership after the original operators defaulted on their loans in 1932. The form also attributes the design of the building to both Fred Bishop and local architect Osbert L. Edwards.

cmastersin on January 16, 2014 at 9:57 pm

The main image should be changed as well as the official web site address. see

cmastersin on January 16, 2014 at 9:55 pm

Leon Russell in person was at the Beacon on January 12, 2014. Check the new website for future shows. I have added new pictures to the photo gallery of the restored auditorium, courtesy of the Beacon Theater

cmastersin on January 16, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Beacon Theatre is NOW OPEN! see the website at

byrdone on November 2, 2011 at 2:22 pm

It is interesting that nobody has mentioned the Beacon’s run as a porn house. The run with porn probably contributed significantly in keeping the wrecking ball at bay.

Robert L. Bradley
Robert L. Bradley on July 10, 2011 at 5:46 pm

The Beacon closed for the first time on June 30, 1962. It reopened under new ownership several months later. Hopewell didn’t support it, however, and it closed and reopened several times until it closed permanently. Before it closed for the last time, its name had been changed to the Town.

dsketch on November 29, 2010 at 12:45 pm

My grandmother worked at The Beacon for a while I believe during the 50’s and into the 60’s. My mother also worked there briefly as a concessionist during the early 60’s or late 50’s. I remember my grandmother telling me about how some of the customers complained of rats in the theater while watching the movie. She also managed the Bluebird and Walnut Mall theaters as well. There was another theater called The Century in Petersburg (which was beautiful in its day) that she worked at as well before they demolished it way back in the late 60’s I think.

kencmcintyre on July 19, 2008 at 7:26 pm

Here are some details about the renovation:

byrdone on January 19, 2008 at 9:00 pm

Does anybody have any information about the organ that was originally in the Beacon? In the Petersburg newspaper’s coverage of the grand opening there is mention of the $20,000 organ but nothing more about it.

kencmcintyre on November 16, 2007 at 1:07 pm

Here is a photo of the theater without the marquee: