A Richmond ‘Landmark’ gets a new name — again

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Just when some Richmonders were finally getting used to calling the Landmark Theater – the Landmark Theater and not the Mosque (a name change that happened in 1995), the theater has again changed names.

The theater formerly known as the Landmark was officially renamed Altria Theater on Friday. The Henrico-based company and parent company of Philip Morris USA, the nation’s largest cigarette manufacturer, paid $10 million toward the theater’s more than $60 million renovation.

“We recognize the long term viability of this theater depended upon the ability to renovate it”, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones said. “We also recognize that a key component of that strategy was the naming rights.”

Renovations were done in phases to allow the theater to remain open for performances. Renovations are scheduled to be completed by November.

“This is our hometown”, , Altria Chairman and CEO Marty Barrington said. “This is our headquarters now. This is where we have thousands of employees, business partners. Retirees live and work here and we want to share this moment with them.”

The $60 million renovation included upgrading the building’s mechanical, plumbing and electrical functions, according to Jay Smith with Richmond CenterStage. Other updates include an expanded restroom, new seats, improved acoustics and a new box office section.

In August 2013, the removal of the Landmark Theater’s historic Wurlitzer organ proved to be a controversial move.

Watch Catie Beck’s report.

The building will close again for a short time this summer for work on elevators, the stage and sound system.

Richmond taxpayers pitched in $14 million towards the renovation. The Richmond Center Stage Foundation’s endowment campaign will continue to raise money for the theater.

13 comments

  • Becky

    The Mosque, PC or not.
    …Another one “The Jones’ Deals” for his Political Donor-Buddies.
    Wikipedia: Jones has been fundraising for a possible reelection campaign, with a majority of contributions from Altria Group Inc and Dominion Resources Inc executives and employees. In 2011, Jones re-election committee received 96 donations, 46 of the donations (45% of the total cash value) from these two corporations, their executives, and employees.[3] Complaints of corporate influence and favoritism arose after Jones’ 2008 election when the Mayor supported construction of a new city jail by City Central LLC. City Central LLC was a consortium of individuals and corporations which were major contributors to Jones 2008 election campaign.
    Odd, isn’t it , that Government/Media, Inc. never “investigate”
    Democrats on “Government Ethics”, but rather propagandizes it,
    ceremoniously, and heralds it as benevolence..

  • Becky

    Ever notice how Democratic “Ethics in Government” is a complete
    contradiction/LIE to the standards Democrats set for Republicans?
    Fair, Equal, Just, under rules, regulations.laws, and constitutions
    just isn’t Politically Correct in the Allowed run, hide, refuse, and excuse
    SOP/MO and heralded as benevolent in their Government/Media, Inc.

  • Marcus

    This is just too doggone confusing for us born and raised here in the great Commonwealth of Virginia. My noble and cherished ancestors who fought so bravely in the battle between the states would agree with me I can guarantee you that. It’s hard enough to remember that Ukrops is gone but how on Earth am I now supposed to also remember that the Mosque has a new name?? I will always call it the Mosque. I will always call the baseball stadium Parker Field. I will always call the airport Byrd Field. We are just too Southernly sophisticated to endure any such changes.

  • dizzy

    The ballfield ,stadium arthur ashe on Monument ave.it just proves black leadership is just as nutty as white leadership.

  • M. Wittkofski

    They should just handout free tobacco products while they are at it…I mean after all, the theater is right beside VCU, a public university with a known and visible (extremely large number) of smoking students.

    • athynz

      How does that compare with other universities? Besides how do you know if all of these smokers are actual students? Some could be workers in the businesses in the area, construction workers, or people shopping.

  • yfiva

    I’d like to know if changes were made to the cramped seating that was previously offered. I stopped going to events because it was not user friendly for anyone larger than a middle school child and especially uncomfortable for someone, like myself, who suffers from severe osteoarthritis. When you have to sit for 2 or more hours without being able to move your leg, much less stretch it out, and you and your neighbor have to alternate one forward one back because your shoulders are squeezed towards your neck, it becomes unworthy of any ticket price out there. I feel like I miss out on so many things that come to that location that I otherwise would have attended.

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