Be sure to check out a movie or special event at the historical Byrd Theatre in the Fan.
History of the Byrd Theatre (from their website)
The Byrd Theatre was built in 1928 in Richmond, Virginia as one of the Nations’s Grand Movie Palaces and is both a State and National Historic landmark. Today it serves as an anchor for the quaint Carytown shopping district offering second-run movies for $1.99. And just as in the early days of the Byrd Theatre, you can catch a Saturday night performance of the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ prior to the movie.
The 1300-seat Byrd Theatre, named after William Byrd II, one of the founders of Richmond, is one of the nation’s finest cinema treasures. And unlike many opulent theatres that were built during the 1920s and 1930s in the United States, the Byrd Theatre is largely unaltered in appearance or function, operating almost continuously since 1928 as a movie theatre.
In 2007, the Byrd Theatre was purchased by The Byrd Theatre Foundation, a non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation, with the express purpose of restoring and preserving this theatre as a vital community resource. When the Theatre isn’t being used for second-run movies, the Foundation plans to integrate cultural, educational and community aspects into the Theatre’s programming while still offering movies at reasonable prices.
The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ
A landmark within a landmark
The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ is perhaps the Byrd’s most recognizable trademark. The Rudolf Wurlitzer Company, which custom made organs for the leading theatres of the country, installed the organ when the theatre was built. The “Mighty Wurlitzer” theatre organ was designed as a “one man orchestra” to accompany silent movies.
The Byrd theatre is a great place to take out of town guests – because not only is it fun to see this historical building (and it is gorgeous inside), but there is so much to do in “Carytown” – or on Cary Street, where the Byrd is located. They recently updated their seats and this has made watching a movie there even more enjoyable. Also, the price of two dollars for a movie is a quite a deal.