Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

124-0101 Commodore Theatre

Commodore Theatre
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 12/04/1996

NRHP Listing Date 02/27/1997

NPS property number 97000203

The Commodore Theatre, named for Commodore James Baron, was opened in 1945 by Portsmouth native William Stanley Wilder who owned of a chain of theaters in the Tidewater area. It was designed by Baltimore architect John Zink who produced a classic example of the streamline Art Deco style. Built during World War II when building materials normally were not available for private commercial undertakings, Wilder was able to procure what he needed as the theater was to offer entertainment to the area’s large population of military personnel. The Commodore is especially significant for preserving many of its original Art Deco appointments, including the marquee, ticket booth, ticket-taker’s stand, and various architectural ornaments. Impressive Art Deco murals on the auditorium walls were reproduced when the theater underwent a meticulous restoration in 1987-89. The Commodore now serves as a motion-picture dinner theater.


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

Updated April 4, 2018