Attucks Theatre

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NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number

DHR Virginia Board of Historic Resources easement

A landmark of African American popular culture, the Attucks Theatre is one of the country’s few remaining theaters to have been financed, designed, and built exclusively by Blacks. Located in Huntersville, Norfolk’s historic, though largely rebuilt, Black neighborhood, the theater was erected in 1919 after the designs of Harvey N. Johnson, one of the state’s few African American architects practicing at the time. The theater is named for Crispus Attucks, a Black man killed in the Boston Massacre of 1770, who thereby becoming one of the first casualties of the American Revolution. The theater retains its original fire curtain, painted with a scene of Attucks’s death by Lee Lash Studios of New York. During its heyday, many of New York’s leading Black roadshows played here. The Attucks Theatre was purchased for preservation by the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority and in the mid-1990s restored for use as a performing arts theater.

Last Updated: January 30, 2024

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VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

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