Jefferson Theater

110 E. Main Street,
Charlottesville, VA 22902

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Jefferson Theater

The Jefferson Theater was built in 1912 in a Greek Revival style by architect W.W. Keenan. (The building had previously been a bank built in 1901.)

Richmond architect C.K. Howell worked on the theatre after a 1915 fire. Philadelphia architect William H. Lee worked on the theatre at some time, likley the redesign of the facade in 1925, since it resembles his work.

In 1969, the Jefferson Theater was renamed Cinema Theater.

In January 1984, the Peanut Gallery balcony became its own auditorium, with 184 stadium seated seats and a movie screen 12.5 high x 23 feet wide. The main floor auditorium of 369 seats has a movie screen 12 feet high x 26.5 feet tall. Renamed The Movie Palace the theatre switched to second run movies because of competition from suburban multiplexes.

In 1993, the theatre returned to its original name, the Jefferson Theater.

The Jefferson Theater closed on June 15, 2006 for restoration and renovations to be carried out and re-opened onNovember 27, 2009.

Contributed by Brian Rostron

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

William on December 6, 2003 at 5:02 pm

The Jefferson Theatre is located at 110 East Main Street and it seated 763 people.

xtopher1974 on January 22, 2005 at 10:47 pm

In the 1990s the back of the theater (behind the screen) where there is a small stage was used to through raves. Sometimes movies where shown at the same time in the front so you could take a break from dancing.

Below the stage (or still is?) an apartment that had an outside entrance on Water street.

Patsy on February 14, 2006 at 9:33 am

Just looked at the exterior photo with the marquee and vertical JEFFERSON sign which was there in the 40’s, but not today! I guess the 4 businessmen who bought the theatre and changed the name to THE CINEMA (now that’s creative) decided to make other changes, as well!

Patsy on February 14, 2006 at 9:33 am

And when was the decision to TWIN it made?

aarfeld on April 13, 2008 at 8:45 pm

The theater was twined by enclosing the mezzanine in 1983. I took a peek in while the demo of the enclosures over the two balconies was taking place a year ago. It’s a spectacular view up to the top. Although work appears to have stalled for now, the theater will be a splendid intimate music venue when restoration is completed.

nonsportsnut on November 25, 2009 at 3:20 pm

The Three Stooges Fan Club is trying to verify the exact times/dates that The Three Stooges msde a personal appearance at the Jefferson. It was mentioned in a newspaper regarding the re-opening, but no dates were shown. Please email me,
Thanks, Frank Reighter

CSWalczak on April 8, 2010 at 5:03 am

An article about the restoration of the Jefferson and its history: View link

DavidZornig on June 24, 2017 at 6:13 pm

Mid `70’s photo as the Cinema Theater at the bottom of this link.

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