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Carpenter Center of the Virginia Center for the Performing Arts (Loew's Theater)

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Loew's Theater
1927–1928, John Eberson. 1982, conversion, Marcellus Wright, Cox and Smith. 600 Grace St.
  • Carpenter Center of the Virginia Center for the Performing Arts (Loew's Theater) (Pierre Courtois)
  • (Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress)

This is Virginia's premier example of the “atmospheric theater,” designed by an architect nationally known in the 1920s and 1930s as the creator of elaborate movie palaces. The experience of going to the movies and the theater itself equaled, if not surpassed, what was on the screen. In this case the exterior is a blend of Spanish Baroque and Moorish styles, while the interior defies traditional description: a fantasy of sculpture, terra-cotta, and plaster, giving the sense of a Spanish plaza. The structure has been sympathetically adapted as a performing arts center.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Carpenter Center of the Virginia Center for the Performing Arts (Loew's Theater)", [Richmond, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 224-224.

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