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Altria buys Landmark Theater naming rights

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) – The Altria Group has agreed to pay $10 million for the naming rights of Richmond’s Landmark Theater. Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones announced the deal during a Thursday morning press conference. The theater will be renamed the Altria Theater in 2013.

Altria’s $10 million dollar payment would go toward the theater’s $50 million renovation.

“Naming rights were a key component of our overall renovation strategy for the historic Landmark Theater,” said Mayor Jones. “Today, Altria has added tremendously to the success of our strategy and we welcome this investment in Richmond that will contribute to our long-term economic success and cultural growth.”

Earlier this year, Richmond City Council approved upgrades to the theater’s plumbing and electrical systems. Money will also be spent on the theater’s fire safety systems likes new alarms and sprinklers.

In an email to CBS 6, Richmond CenterStage said it was not only raising money for theater renovations, but also to grow the CenterStage Endowment.

“We are fortunate to have a partner like Altria which understands the power of the arts and the impact they as a corporate citizen can make on our community,” said Richard M. Parison, Jr., Executive Director of Richmond CenterStage.

“Together, Altria and Philip Morris USA have a long history in Richmond and in supporting the arts and projects intended to make our communities stronger,” said Altria Chairman and CEO and Chairman Martin J. Barrington. “We know from our experience that a thriving arts and cultural scene helps make cities more vibrant, engaging and enjoyable for residents and visitors.  The Landmark Theater project provides us with a unique opportunity to help restore an iconic venue that will have a positive impact on Richmond and will benefit our employees and our neighbors for generations to come.”

Click here for more Landmark Theater coverage.

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