Byrd Theatre

2908 W. Cary Street,
Richmond, VA 23221

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Showing 1 - 25 of 76 comments

DavidZornig on December 5, 2018 at 2:14 pm

Facebook link to a photo of the organ at the Byrd Theatre.

DavidZornig on August 2, 2016 at 8:05 pm

Edgar Allan Poe festival coming.

menright on March 30, 2016 at 11:30 am

I should have checked the other photos first. They have a picture of the panel, worth checking out.

menright on March 30, 2016 at 11:28 am

About 16 or 17 years ago I was on business in Richmond and got to watch a few movies from the projection booth. That was awesome. They still had two carbon arc projectors and the most amazing electric panel for all the house lights and such. I could swear they still had some knife switches on that panel.

GeorgeStrum on May 27, 2015 at 7:16 am

The Theatre Historical Society of America will be visiting here on Wednesday, June 24th, 2015.

tcaldwell on October 10, 2013 at 9:18 am

cmastersin, thanks for the great pictures of this great theater. I enjoyed talking to you after the Cameron Carpenter concert, and thanks for mentioning your pictures. You asked about The Senator. Here is a link from today’s Baltimore Sun.

cmastersin on March 19, 2013 at 11:04 pm

I have recently added some digital photos of the Byrd interior that shows the stunning interior after EIGHTY FIVE YEARS! Unrestored and still beautiful! Enjoy

cmastersin on November 21, 2012 at 6:18 pm

The conversion to digital has been completed.

byrdone on November 2, 2011 at 12:02 pm

By the early ‘30s EVERY cinema in Richmond had AC, The Mosque (now Landmark) didn’t get AC till the late 60s. The Byrd had AC from the first day.
For it’s worth, GWTW did not open at the Byrd, being a MGM pic it open at the Loews which also had had AC from the first day in 1928.

robert17070 on September 3, 2011 at 11:03 am

Spoke with a few WW II vetrans, about 10 years ago and they chatted about with Gone with the Wind (1939) and other classics where you showed up to see the first show and had to wait till the second show. They said prior and during WW II, the move closed for the summer too hot and no AC. I moved away form Richmond but have gone back to hear the organ/

byrdone on July 13, 2011 at 6:48 am

The AC is now running again, but funds will still be needed for the replacement over the winter.

byrdone on July 11, 2011 at 9:30 am

The AC has been out for 5 days now, the problems have now been located and repairs are underway. With a little luck it’ll be up and running by Wednesday, maybe sooner. This is just a stop gap repair to get the system thru the summer. The 45 year old system will need to be replaced by next summer to the tune of somewhere between $70,000 and $150,000 depending on a lot of variables.

ByrdPrints on July 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm

The Byrd Theatre Prints are available at

Thank you for your support!

ghamilton on February 16, 2011 at 4:25 pm

COME ON PEOPLE!!! GO TO THE BYRD OR LOOSE THE BYRD.I am sometimes just sad how little support this true national treasure gets. I was telling some foilks in Lynchburg today about the Byrd.Said they’s have to go soon.Didn’t know it existed anymore.

ByrdPrints on October 6, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Here’s a link to a Fundraiser I started in conjunction with the Byrd Theatre Foundation.
We’re selling Fine Art Prints of the painting “Byrd Theatre” by Daniel Pritchett to help raise
funds to help Save the Byrd Theatre.
Prints start at only $49…. Please check it out and help us keep this Cinema Treasure operational!

ghamilton on July 27, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Article today in Richmond Times about the “delicate” finacial condition of the Byrd.Time to put money where mouth resides.

GeorgeStrum on May 10, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Purchased for $1 an old LP by Dick Leibert playing the mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ of the Byrd Theatre at a flea market in N.Y. Mr. Leibert died in 1977 at 74 years old.

TLSLOEWS on February 2, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Great offical web-site,check it out.

TLSLOEWS on February 2, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Nice nighttime picture of the BYRD good to see its still up and running.

byrdone on November 21, 2009 at 5:33 pm

Fund raising continues to be very difficult due to the economy and indifference by those who typically support historic projects. They seem to have NO interest in supporting the maintenance or restoration of a mere cinema even though it is the most significant theatre in the city and the only theatre in the area in any resemblance of its original appearance and STILL doing what it was built to do and open 365 days a year.

ghamilton on November 10, 2009 at 5:50 pm

THIS place is a continuing national treasure that MUST be used to preserve.VIST.PLEASE.

kseward on May 18, 2009 at 7:45 pm

1978 clipping of newspaper ads for the Byrd and other Richmond-area Neighborhood Theatres:

View link

CineFan66 on April 13, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Sorry Some Of My Previous Posting seemed to have gotten cut off but I gotta get some sleep BUT IT IS GREAT TO BE HERE!


CineFan66 on April 13, 2009 at 10:45 pm

the NTI Offices with TWO Huge garbage bags almost too heavy for me to carry!
My mom thank god was a big film buff herself and she wasa willing to wait for me at the nearby historic Department Store Thailhimers (Which Morton G. Thailhimer was ALSO the owner ofThe NTI Chain) So I had added a 1-sh or lobbycard request for Gone With The wind (Mom’s All Time Fave)to my list and Damned if Ray didn’t make sure I left there with a Poster for the 1968 IIRC Anniv. GWTW Rerelease poster! And My favorite of ALL time PLANET OF THE APES!

I got Lobby’s, Posters,for ALL 5 Apes! and although My elusive Futureworld

wasn’t there on file Ray made a call and I was sent down to the now demolished Capital theater.Where I saw the manager there (can’t remember his name BUT I FINALLY had my Futureworld “Is This You Or Are You YOU?” Poster! lol PLUS I got a regular order put in at the National Screen Service.So I Found myself making the trek a couple of times a month to pick up some 1-Sheets ($2.50 ea. or Lobbycard sets usually $5.00) A few months later Moviemachine Invited me up to the Screening Room in the NTI Offices He and the Staff were checking out a Film called “The Idol Maker” starring a then little known Peter Gallagher and Ray Starkey (sp) It was about the Starkey Character managing the Careers of these bands/singers (Gallagher) in the late 50’s early 60’s era.They wanted to get the feel for what the Teenage audience might think of this one and that would help the Moviemachine decide where the Film might best be Exibited to the biggest Audience,WOW,Ifelt so important! lol Up until this point I had been getting in BIGGGG Trouble for figuring out how to contact the actual studios in California and I told them the Truth (sometimes) and Occasionally I’d represented myself to be a School no time I had racked up $400 Phonebills! So now I had found great conections right in town!I started Bothering the Local newspaper Reviewers and began getting monthly boxes of Presskits and other Promo goodies! and even caught the attention of a reporter who did an Article ON ME and my Memrobilia Collecting!(hey she was hard up for an article and it did help me get some crediblity with my friends and still Angry Step Dad)So finally as I got older I didn’t as actively persue my hobbie but I did start going to alot of the Midnight Shows by the Movie Machine Playing at the Ridge,Even sugguested “Enter The Dragon” one week.My bestfriend’s Uncle became the Manager at the Byrd around the time Sam Jones' Flash Gordon was released (Love That Poster! still have it!)and it was then The Moviemachine introtuced me to the Manager of the three side by side Movie Palaces located in had become by 1981Richmond’s “Seedier” Area,Saddly These Theaters From what I could see HAD been as Beautiful as the Byrd (Well the biggest of the 3 called The Colonial originally The National) Giant Urns,Big Velvet Blood Red Curtins.So anyhoo,by this time The current Manager Jerry,Warned me and my best bud that wecould come watch anything we wanted but we'ed probly be better off watching from the projection booth! Yeah it got that rough,especially when there was a “MovieMachine All Nite Black Belt Soul Brother” Showing!I Attended Two of these Extravaganzas, and watched Arrests,Drinking,Drugs Lots of Audience particapation! lolBUT,I did Inherit EVERY BlackSplotation Title (Lobbies and Posters) and when the Towne State and Colonial Finally closed Their doors for good (around 1987) I actually got the Entire 35mm Print of “Coffy” with Pam Grier Still in the Original Cans Boxes of Preview Trailers and Poster Frames A goldmine!Still Sad to see these Classic Theaters go though and the empty screens just sat and were still sitting when I left 1992 .My Parents related to me memories of any Local Theaters they’d attended including about how the Legendary Huge Chandiler hanging from the Ceiling at the Byrd Theater had to be Lowered in Sections for Cleaning,Still I sat beneath this Crystal Monster my first Time at the Byrd One eye on The Movie (Golden Voyage Of Sinbad) the other on this
Giant Fixture affraid it was gonna fall and crush us any second!So in the mid 80’s My friends Uncle had moved on from the Byrd and in his place TheTheater had gotten back a Gentleman who had started working with this cinema as an usher in the late 30’s and almost 50 years later he now was the manager!What a story I thought so I called on Mr. Stitzer (Sp) while at the Byrd with my Granny He was a most Gracious man and confirmed what I’d herd about the Byrd having a backlog of 1-sheets and Lobbies stored in a room somewhere beyond the Stage,Well not only did this room exsist but Mr.Stitzer had seen my article in the paper and was actually gonna let me check out these treasures and told me to have some titles in mind that I might be looking for because there was just “Too Many To Browse” OMG! lol our meeting was to be early Sunday morning this was a Weds,I could not wait!So Saturdaynight was like Christmas Eve For me I couldn’t sleep,I flipped on the TV and to my Shock there was the report that Mr. Stitzer and one of his ushers had been robbed of the Boxoffice recpts and during the crime the Usher had been wounded and Mr. Stitzer Shot and Killed.
This was so sad and needless

So,on a happier note the Byrd reopened under new management awhile later.My dream had been to Actually be envolved in Cinema and I did get my chance my uncle had gotten himself on an Extra’s List" for whenever a Film Production came to Richmond or nearby parts of Virgina,I ended up in What About Bob? Love Field,a reenactment for “America’s Most Wanted” (I was in a Barroom that gets shot up! lol)and my fave “A Woman Named Jackie” with Stephen Collins Of Star Trek the Motion Picture (Nicest Guy you’d want to meet!) Finally Talk about full Circle I ended up in a commercial for a Local News Guy on Channel 6 WTVR and it was Filmed in the Byrd.and another PSA about Picking up your Trash also shot in the Byrd’s Balcony.Then around August 1992 I came down here to florida during Hurricane Andrew and The Storms Blew my Wife (Of Sixteen Years into my Arms!lol) Of course now I collect DVDs and I’m amazed at how many of these obscure little Titles you can either buy online or even Download yourself! Because of Ray/Moviemachine and all these Theater Owner/Operators Kindness and Encouragement,Iwas inspired toTeach myself about Film of course the Classics but my real interest is early 70’s through 1990 Sholocky Ed Wood Type Stuff or Explotation Films like “Blackenstien” or “The Incredible Melting Man” Godzilla or The Green Slime!Sure around here in Naples Fl.there’s only one of these GI-NORMOUS! 21Plex Cinemas and although it has NONE of the Personality of say,a Byrd or Colonial It’s nice to see most are still run by good people who still seem to really love film and imho I think it’s a lil' bit easier to get ahold of the Posters and such now than it was in the 80’s I just turnrd 43 and I’m an old Trekkie,so I asked this Manager my age because my Daughter wanted a Hanna Montanna and mentioned looking forward to the new Star Trek movie,She told me to stop by the office after our film was over and when I did she layed on me a roll of Posters in a tube that contained Everything that had come out since Iron Man! Sweet!Nice to know I still got it1 lol Well thanks for lettin' me ramble and RAY/Moviemachine, Thanks for lettin' a kid feel like a Movie Mogaul for awhile I’ll never forget it!
All The Best
See Ya' At The Movies!
JOHN B. aka Theaterboy66

byrdone on December 24, 2008 at 8:44 am

Tonight will be the Byrd’s 80th anniversary. Eighty years of continuous operation.