TCC Roper Performing Arts Center

300 Granby Street,
Norfolk, VA 23510

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Loew's Theatre exterior

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened as a movie palace on May 10, 1926, the Loew’s State Theatre housed everything from first run films to vaudeville shows including names like Milton Berle and Eddie Cantor. By the late-1950’s it was known as Loew’s Theatre. It was closed in the late-1970’s and remained dark for 20 years.

The theatre underwent a $10 million renovation that reduced the overall size of the auditorium and its capacity from a tight 2,100 to a roomy 861 seats. The rest of the building was turned into a learning center.

In the early-2000’s, Tidewater Community College and local officials dedicated the old Loew’s Theatre in honor of its new home with the Norfolk, Virginia campus.

Contributed by Cinema Treasures,

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

tccramv on November 6, 2001 at 9:00 pm

The former Loews State Theater in Norfolk, Virginia, now owned by Tidewater Community College, has been renamed the Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center. The renovated facility has been open for just over a year and has held a wide range of performances, including local theater and dance companies, performances by the Virginia Symphony, various jazz artists, internationally known classical artists, plus the sole U.S. appearance by the Royal Shakespeake Company. On November 1, 2001 the first film was shown in the theater since 1978. “Restless”, the first joint U.S. & China co-production, written and directed by Jule Gilfillian, was shown in 35mm on a brand new screen to an enthusiastic audience.

Local619 on April 9, 2006 at 5:20 pm

Growing up in Norfolk VA there were two large theatres still open downtown, The Lowes and The Granby. The theatre was known only as The Lowes, The name State was not used in the late 50s. The marquee in the picture reads “HG Wells The Time Machine”, I saw the Time Machine at The Lowes with a neighborhood birthday party. I remember the theatre had stained glass exit signs over the fire exits and each exit was numbered on the stained glass sign. Also the balcony was really more of a mezzanine as that it was not over the orchestra seats. Everything about it was big when I was a kid.

Local619 on April 17, 2006 at 11:08 am

Note to above comments… The Norva was the other Large Downtown Theatre… The Granby was there but one of several smaller theatres.

spectrum on October 19, 2007 at 12:14 am

The Roper Center’s official web page is: From there is some history, renovation info and color photos, both interior. Looks like a simplified renaissance revival scheme, but also possibly simplified by the renovation. The auditorium is fairly wide with a low ceiling – looks like it originally had no balcony and that they reduced the capacity by building a shelf balcony in the middle of the auditorium with all the space behind it converted into separate rooms. Still looks really nice though and very attractive. The page says it was built in 1926.

TLSLOEWS on July 11, 2011 at 10:21 am

Nice shot of the Loews.

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