Beacon Theatre was designed by Fred Bishop, the same architect as the Byrd in Richmond. Built in 1928 by the Knights of Pythias it began as a silent movie and Vaudeville show palace. Stars such as Sally Rand, (famous burlesque dancer); Lash LaRue, Cowboy performer who taught Harrison Ford how to crack a whip performed in the Beacon in the 1930′s-1940′s. In the 1950′s-1970′s, The Beacon was primarily a movie house. Many of the young and old alike of Hopewell met their sweethearts for date night.To find out how to plan a trip to Hopewell, use our trip itinerary maker.
In 1981, the theater was abandoned and sat vacant. During that time there were many attempts to breath life back into the old theater, however none were successful until 1999. A group of citizens with the help of the City were able to complete Phase 1 to stabilize the decline and open event space. However, restoring more was beyond the funds available.
In 2011, the project was returned to the City of Hopewell. City Council took action to finish the project in time for the centennial celebration of Hopewell in 2015. Their goal was to restore the Beacon to play a major role in the cultural and recreational life of the area.
By 2012 a restoration design for the Theater and backstage was complete and renovation began. As a historic building the Theater was eligible for historic tax credits which will return funding to the overall investment of $4.2 million.
Construction will be complete by the end of December 2013 with a Grand Opening Scheduled for early February 2014. Operation of the theater will be managed by the Wells Group, who are entertainment, event and venue specialists.
The Beacon Theater Reviews
Not a bad seat in the house. The acoustics are amazing. The concession stands really need help. I want more than popcorn and a Slim Jim for food. Please bring in a vendor that sells real food. more »
My husband and I attended the BOC concert a few weeks ago, and really enjoyed this venue. The acoustics are perfect. We enjoyed it so much so that we purchased tickets for two more concerts in the... more »
Great venue for music. Free parking was located all around Beacon Theater and we found parking directly in front. The staff was extremely friendly and security was ever present and ready for any emergency. I don't believe there's a bad seat in the theater, perfect for concerts.
Very intimate, and it's beautiful inside. You can tell it was built in a time when people took pride in there work. I'm 6'2" and the space between the seats is shorter than my legs. Definitely get a seat next to the isle if you're long legged. I liked the upper deck because of the better view of the stage.
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