Someone asked if it is a theater or apartment? It was converted to an apartment complex and opened last year with a restaurant going in on the first floor this year. The façade was restored for historical preservation and always in the plan. Josh Bilder is hoping to have an illuminated grand opening of sorts later this year. I am glad it is finally completed and adds character to our neighborhood!
Nice. Now we need to get a new sign at the Animal Hospital.
@2 Kay S Glenn-Baine.. Really? Why do you consider it a monstrosity since that is the way it was built in 1938 and in place until around 1970 and possibly 1980 (marquee at least). What would you have said if the old Patrick Henry Theater was also still standing on the same block and also restored with marquee and all? (demolished in 1968)
You may be interested in my CHA Newsletter article about Church Hill theaters published in November 2013:
I love the restoration of the building back to its original façade.
@5 neighbor, true! I wish the building would also be put back to its original configuration of having glass windows and entrances from both 25th and Marshall (the entrances and windows wrapped around the corner and can be seen how it was bricked in.)… along with decorative onyx tiles removed with the scars left. While we are at it, Billups needs to fix theirs as well but doubt that will happen considering the lack of funerals happening there over the years.
@8 eva tiner – yes it does and will be lighted in its full original 1938 glory soon. I just passed by the building about 30 minutes ago and they are still wiring it up.
We will get used to it eventually. The building had been run down for so many years. I used to go to that theater in the 60’s…35 cents per person.
People seem to forget that this is the 25th Street Corridor which was a busy business district from the 1910s-1960s, full of glass store fronts, florescent signs, and foot traffic. This is just another step in revitalizing the strip that has been in the plans for years. And the theater renovations were approved by the CAR because as long as you can provide photographs or original sketched of how a building originally looked, you can restore it back to that configuration.
This is so fun! Makes me fall in love with Church Hill all over again. I’m smitten.
@17 Bridgette… replicates what was on the original sign. Hard to see but can make out the outline on the old sign that was taken down when renovations started.
@18 Lindgren, agree!
@15 rita, wish I knew you when I wrote the theater article to get some first hand perspectives then.
I like it even more now that I know that it lights up!!!
I think it’s awesome. To me it celebrates the East End and let’s the rest of Richmond know that we are proud of our neighborhood.
The original had exposed neon tubes running down the spine of the sign but how long would they last today? The N in END seems to be a bit wide to me or is it the photo angle? First time I have seen it on. Now to get a chaser or flasher on it 🙂
This is cool. I love Church Hill.
@Eric S. Huffstutler that is just the way I pictured 25th street to have been back in the day. and I love how they renovated the building. But then, this is the reason I moved into this charming old neighborhood. My only regret is that I wish it were STILL a movie theatre. To be able to walk to a movie would only be the icing on this cake called Church Hill. 🙂
A nice idea poorly executed. However, the whole development improves enormously on what (for YEARS) previously existed.
I love everything about this! Good job Josh Bilder
Great job Josh Bilder! It’s a very nice addition to the neighborhood.
I love this!
Just to be clear (29) refers to the sign.
I Love It!
@7/ Eric – are you sure those were entrances and not places for movie posters? A lot of times those bricked up “doors” are the giveaway that a converted building was a theater. (This is just personal observation/experience, not an educated opinion – I suppose old theaters would have needed more doors since they often didn’t have as much interior/lobby space?).
love to see an old photo of the place
Let me know if I’m way off. Would love to see a photo or two of how it used to look.
I think the new sign is great.
@25 @26 Marguerite Manning, part of the answers are in my article linked above. The building over the last years of its life before being abandoned, was vandalized, set on fire, and was structurally in poor shape. Years later another owner did a study to see if restoring the building back as a theater was feasible but was not due to lack of interest as well as parking. They then decided to repurposed the building only to completely gut it to bare walls and no roof, completely open to the elements, then lost interest. At that point it was being considered for demolition. Josh Bilder came in and purchased the building and it is what we have today. (condensed history).
@34 David, the sign is historically accurate to what was originally on the building (minus additional neon lights). Why is it poorly executed?
Almost 6 years to the day when I bought the building, the lights of the East End are shining brilliant once again. Church Hill I appreciate your support. I’m looking forward to 2016 and my next development- Patrick Henry Square. Sincerely, Joshua Bilder
Joshua Bilder — You’re my hero!
Thanks for investing in our community!!!
@36 Lee, sorry… there was some cross talk on this thread when someone mentioned restoring the Church Hill Animal Hospital sign. The bricked in windows and entrance I was talking about is on that building.
Josh, I drove by at 10:00 this morning and all of the lights were still on. Are they on for purpose or need a timer? I am sure it will be an issue having to replace light bulbs when they burn out if they burn 24-7.
We love it!! So looking forward to having fun new neighbors!
I think it’s great. Adds a little something to that corridor.
Traffic calming. Before you need a rosemary and sea salt flat bread in one direction or a pet castration in the other.
@Eric S. Huffstutler
I’m leaving the lights of the East End on for now…Bern baby Bern.
It looks great. They did a great job on the building.
I lived at 600 North 28th street. I use to walk to the theater on Saturday mornings.
Somtime my parents would take me to the Patrick Henry theater.