Old Town Theater

815 1/2 King Street,
Alexandria, VA 22314

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Showing 19 comments

JustinBlasdel on May 17, 2015 at 10:36 pm


I’m not sure who to ask of this, but I recently purchased an old paper from a garage sale out here in Oregon that was originally from the Alexandria Gazette Friday December 27 in 1918 that details a show in the Richmond Theatre “The One Woman” by Thomas Dixon, in the Grand Theatre “The Girl from Huylers”, and in the Ingomar Theatre “Rosemary Climbs the Heights” staring the (then) beautiful young actress Mary Miles Minter. It only has a little bit of tearing at the top, it’s completely legible, but I don’t know how to make sure it’s completely authentic. Either way, it’s an interesting find. It even has an article on the back telling people that if they continuously can’t call certain people, then it’s because the other person keeps forgetting to properly hang up the telephone. Would anyone here know of a person who might want this find?

DavidZornig on April 14, 2015 at 2:16 pm

1964 photo as the Richmond Playhouse added courtesy of Spade Lively.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 19, 2014 at 2:21 am

A two-page article about the Richmond Theatre appeared in the September 7, 1929, issue of Motion Picture News. It featured before and after photos of the front and rear of the auditorium, showing the changes made during the recent renovation of the house. The project was designed by architect Harry A. Brandt.

richmurphy on January 27, 2013 at 5:56 pm

The theatre’s status should be changed to “open”.


Giles on September 4, 2012 at 8:26 pm

ABC 7 is stating the theater will become a vaudeville type ‘live’ theater.

HowardBHaas on February 4, 2012 at 8:16 pm

And here was the theater rental info, including screen size:
Old Town Theater is available for:

Corporate Meetings / Business Meetings Conferences / Conventions Events and Parties Birthday Parties The Theater features:

A 400+ stadium seat venue High Definition projector 16' by 22' screen computer imagery DVD, VCR, & Cable Digital Surround Sound Remote internet access Microphones: Wireless & Stand The Theater’s Restaurant Serves:

400+ Lunch and Dinner buffets Beer and Wine on trays stablized in the seat’s cupholders Menu

HowardBHaas on February 4, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Theater website has disappeared but here was the history on it: The original permit to build, dated April 16, 1914, was for the purpose of “moving pictures, bowling alleys and billiards”, named the Richmond Theater, it was the first permanent theater constructed in Alexandria. The owners reportedly operated a vaudeville theater on the first floor and a dance hall on the second floor until around 1932. Around 1932, the theater closed for renovation, the second floor dance hall was removed, and a theater balcony constructed. The Richmond was used as a motion picture and vaudeville theater until sometime in the 1940s when vaudeville was phased out, and the theater was used exclusively for motion pictures. The Richmond operated as a motion picture theater until it closed in approximately 1972, when the city movie houses were failing to draw local residents. In 1976, the National Puppet Center applied for a special use permit to use for the performances and study of the puppet arts and it is not known how long the theater may have been used for this purpose. In 1980, the theater was renovated and re-opened as a double theater under a new name, the Old Town. The Old Town operated until October 1999 when it was again closed. On Valentines 2002, the Old Town was opened after renovations were completed bringing the bathrooms up to ADA approved code, bringing the balcony back, replacing the seats to a comfortable level and adding lighting and sound systems. The screen was removed opening the stage for live plays and a comedy venue. In December 2002, the theater was closed. The Old Town Theater has reopened as a multi entertainment center featuring all forms of the performing arts including film, theater, music and children shows.

Managing Partner
Roger Fons

Giles on January 4, 2012 at 8:36 pm

heard on tonight’s news that the theater is closing this week due to low attendance and increased parking fees in Alexandria.

Jwrunion on June 27, 2008 at 7:21 pm

I love the Richmond Theater,original name of the Old Town. My first job was as an Usher there in 1964,.75 hr. My first paycheck was a great big $7.50 cash. I lied about my age, I was 15 said I was 17. I worked with a great guy named Robert Taylor who was about 25 years old then and we had a great time working there, free movies, spit ball fights back in the lobby during the movie, picking up girls, man what a great life it was then. I used to walk to the Richmond when I was 5 to see movies, I lived around the corner on Cameron Street(remember 1955’s “To Hell & Back” with Audie Murphy?)Man, I love that building and all the great memories!!!!

JackCoursey on February 22, 2008 at 9:31 pm

Here is a February 2008 photo of the Old Town exterior and here is a photo of the proscenium.

Hoiles on October 10, 2007 at 9:35 pm

When the Old Town reopened after the renovations in June 07 a second screen was again in place.

spectrum on September 9, 2007 at 3:59 pm

According to the 1936 Film Annual Review, the Richmond at that time seated 750.

Hoiles on June 29, 2007 at 1:58 pm

Opened again June 28th.

Hoiles on March 24, 2007 at 2:44 pm

According to the theater website they are looking for extra volunteer help but it is anticipated that it will reopen by early May.

ghamilton on January 6, 2007 at 2:48 pm

ALAS,this house is closed again.Efforts are being made to raise funds for repairs needed to reopen.

ghamilton on November 20, 2005 at 11:40 am

Fri eve.,enjoyed the new Harry Potter.Sat in the balcony.Seats pretty comfy.If the Byrd seats were that good,I could die happy.Great eats,treats and beverages avail.The owner had a chat before the film.Audience voted on which film he should book next.That was cool.The help were just excellent.Very motivated and acted as if they were glad you were there.The place needs new HVAC and owner explained his problems.Place deserves supportNot a movie palace,but definitely a great time warp experience.It is a fine asset for OldeTowne.

jeffconn on February 7, 2005 at 8:41 am

According to the website, the Old Town is showing movies again.

Bob007 on April 10, 2003 at 5:55 am

The Old Town is now being used for live performances.