Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

127-0287 Byrd Theatre

Byrd Theatre
Photo credit: Richard Cheek, 1995

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 06/21/1977

NRHP Listing Date 09/24/1979

NRHP Reference Number 79003289

Opened in 1928, the Byrd Theatre is an important representative of the many movie palaces that sprang up around the country in the 1920s. Built when lavish architectural decoration was still relatively inexpensive, these glittering confections vied with one another to attract and dazzle cinemagoers. Dazzling still, the theater was designed and built by Fred A. Bishop of Richmond with the decoration and artwork of the unrestrained classical interior executed by the Brounet Studios of New York. The Byrd was one of the first theaters outfitted for sound motion pictures, being equipped with Vitaphone, a sound synchronization system pioneered by Bell Telephone Laboratories. Many recordings have been made on its outstanding Wurlitzer pipe organ. In regular use and meticulously maintained in its original brilliance, the Byrd Theatre is among Richmond’s most popular landmarks.

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

Updated: August 24, 2021