The Altria Theater in Richmond, Virginia, United States is a theater at the southwest corner of Monroe Park, the largest venue of Richmond CenterStage's performing arts complex. Formerly known as The Mosque and the Landmark Theater, the Altria Theater was originally built for Shriners of the Acca Temple Shrine.
Acca Temple Shrine, The Mosque, Landmark Theater
|Address||6 N Laurel Street|
|Owner||City of Richmond|
|Opened||October 28, 1927|
|Rebuilt||During 2013 and 2014|
|Architect||Marcellus E. Wright Sr., Charles M. Robinson|
|Part of||Monroe Park Historic District (#84003572)|
|Designated CP||July 05, 1984|
In 1940, the building was purchased by the City of Richmond, which converted much of its interior for municipal use. The Richmond Police Department occupied the theater's basement, where they opened up office space, classrooms, a gymnasium, and a shooting range for the police academy. An underground swimming pool was also maintained, initially for training purposes, until it was filled in with concrete during the 2014 renovation.
The name of the theater was changed in 1995 from "The Mosque" to "Landmark Theater" following a year of restoration. After a $10 million renovation gift from the company, the theater was officially dubbed the Altria Theater in February 2014. It annually plays host to big-name musical and theatrical performers.
The theater was designed in Moorish Revival style by Marcellus E. Wright Sr. in association with Charles M. Robinson and Charles Custer Robinson circa 1925. J. R. Ray, of the Richmond Tile and Mosaic Works, was responsible for the widely-used ornamental tile, and J. Frank Jones, of the Rambusch Decorating Company, oversaw the interior decoration. The building officially opened in 1927, and was dedicated by the Shriners in 1928.
Performers such as Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Bill Burr, Grateful Dead, Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra, Roy Buchanan, B B King, Widespread Panic and The Supremes held shows at this venue. Notable Broadway performances such as Wicked, The Lion King, Les Miserables, and Cats have also been past visitors of The Altria Theater.
- Theater capacity: 3,565 seats
- Ballroom capacity: 1,100 persons
- Ballroom dimensions: 18,000 square feet (1,700 m2)
- "Monroe Park Historic District National Register Nomination" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
- Kappatos, Nicole. "From The Archives: The Mosque". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
- Holmberg, Mark (August 18, 2016). "Richmond's most famous pool, built 90 years ago – under the Altria Theater". WTVR. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
- Watson, Pernell; Joines, Elizabeth (April 14, 1997). "This Mosque Never Used For Worship". The Daily Press. Newport News.
- Bacqué, Peter (February 22, 2014). "Landmark Theater is now the Altria Theater". Richmond Times-Dispatch.
- Brownell, Charles E. (1992). The Making of Virginia Architecture. Richmond, VA: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. p. 360. ISBN 0-917046-34-X.
The ornamental tile was done by J. R. Ray of the Richmond Tile and Mosaic Works...The interior decoration was carried out under the direction of J. Frank Jones of the Rambush [sic] Company of New York.
- Roy, James V. (May 7, 2008). "The Mosque Theater - Richmond, VA". Scotty Moore: The Official Website. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
- "An RVA landmark: the 85-year history of the Landmark Theater". RVANews. 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2017-09-19.
- Private page with many pictures and detailed information about historic performances
- Landmark Theater information page
- Photographs of the theater's interior, 1950s