Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

180-0028-0117 Buchanan Theatre

Buchanan Theatre
Photo credit: Dan Pezzoni, 2017

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 12/13/2018

NRHP Listing Date 04/15/2019

NRHP Reference Number SG100003611

Since its construction around 1917, the Buchanan Theatre has served as a principal entertainment venue and social hub in the Botetourt County town of Buchanan. Originally known as the Star Theatre, the two-story gable-fronted building was built and operated by the Shank family. Jack and Homer Jackson purchased the building in 1946 and, in 1949, remodeled it in the Moderne style, adding a new brick facade, neon marquee, ticket booth, and restaurant wing. The interior, with its knotty-pine lobby, streamlined concession stand, and Art Deco seating dates to the remodeling and a subsequent, less extensive remodeling in the 1950s. During the 1950s and 1960s the theater occasionally hosted live acts including bluegrass entertainers such as the popular duo Donald Wesley Reno (1926-84) and Arthur Lee “Red” Smiley (1925-72). In 1999, new owners undertook renovations to the theater, and in 2001 a nonprofit formed to manage the venue, which updated to a digital projector in 2012. Having won a number of awards and hosted film festivals, the Buchanan Theatre remains a vibrant and contributing presence in the Buchanan Historic District, listed in the National Register in 1999.

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

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

Updated: December 1, 2021