Culpeper’s State Theatre is the topic of the National Main Street Center’s Main Street Weekly May 14 edition. The $9.3 million historic rehabilitation of the 1938 Art Deco theater replaced a blighting, vacant building with a 560-seat state-of-the-art entertainment venue in the heart of Culpeper’s bustling Main Street district. The theater’s restoration has already spurred additional private investment in the Main Street district, including a $3 million banquet hall to complement the theater’s programming.
Historic tax credits helped make the State Theatre restoration possible. The State Theatre Foundation used $1.6 million in federal historic tax credits and an additional $1.6 million in state historic tax credits.
“The State Theatre has all the ingredients of the type of project that the historic tax credit was designed to support: an iconic historic building, great community benefit and a top-notch rehabilitation that would be difficult, if not impossible, to finance using only conventional sources,” John Leith-Tetrault, president of the National Trust Community Investment Corporation, the National Trust’s for-profit subsidiary and a tax credit investor in the State Theatre project.
For more information on historic tax credits, contact the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
The State Theatre joins several other restored and fully operational historic theaters in Virginia Main Street communities, including the Barter Theatre in Abingdon (built 1933), the Paramount in Bristol (built 1931), the Lincoln Theatre in Marion (built 1928) and the Visulite (built 1937) and Dixie Theater (built 1912) in Staunton. Hopewell’s Beacon Theater (built 1928), Lynchburg’s Academy of Music (built 1905) and Waynesboro’s Wayne Theatre (built 1926) are all currently undergoing multi-million dollar restorations and will soon, once again, be entertainment destinations in their regions. A full list of Virginia’s historic theaters is available from the League of Historic American Theatres.