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Rex Theater

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1938. 113 E. Grayson St.

The upper facade of this Art Deco former cinema is sheathed in white structural glass panels outlined in a stepped design by black glass. In the center a small circular window is highlighted by horizontal banding and a vertical neon-lit sign of red, black, and white topped by a red and yellow crown. The V-shaped marquee indicates the theater's recessed entrance, and to its side is a storefront. Such a mixed use was common to theaters in smaller towns. The theater has been renovated as a bluegrass and traditional music venue and is home to the Blue Ridge Backroads radio show.

Adjacent to the Rex, the Galax Municipal Building (1940; 1996–1997 remodeled; 109 E. Grayson) was created by combining a pair of adjoining two-story commercial buildings and remodeling their facades. Belt courses and parapet-level rectangular panels relieve the building's otherwise stark brick facade, but this example of adaptive reuse managed to strip the buildings of character.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee

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